Celtic boss Neil Lennon hails 'brilliant' table-topping side

Brown is congratulated for his role in Celtic's second goal
Brown is congratulated for his role in Celtic's second goal

Neil Lennon thinks the 2-0 victory over Motherwell that took Celtic to the top of the table is ideal preparation for their trip to face Spartak Moscow.

"They will go into that game after that full of confidence now," the manager told BBC Scotland.

"Psychologically, it's important. It's six games in with a game in hand.

Brown chats with Lennon after being substituted against Motherwell
Brown chats with Lennon after being substituted against Motherwell

"It was important we went top of the league today. People will be looking up at us now and that is important for the team and the club."

Scott Brown is likely to be dropped as Celtic penalty taker after missing his second spot-kick in a row during the win that allowed his side to leapfrog Well and inch a point ahead.

"We've got a queue of players who want to take them, so we'll discuss that at another time," said the Celtic boss.

Lennon admitted that he did not realise that his captain was still going to take the penalties after last week's excellent save by Rab Douglas during Celtic's 2-0 win at Dens Park.

This time, Brown stuttered before firing against the legs of Darren Randolph with Celtic already two goals ahead.

"He changed his mind in full flow," said Lennon. "I was hoping Charlie Mulgrew or James Forrest or somebody would take it."

Lennon, though, gave all his players pass marks in a game won thanks to goals from Gary Hooper and Adam Cummins, the Well defender who was also sent off after conceding the penalty.

"We were brilliant from start to finish," said Lennon.

"It should have been a lot more, but I'm delighted at the way we played.

"We defended well and, certainly, some of our attacking play was excellent.

"We could have made the game a lot more comfortable, but it was one-way traffic more or less.

"Once we adjusted to their system a wee bit, we were superb.

"Our front three, their movement, the midfield three were great and I have to say I was very impressed with the back four."

Lennon was particularly pleased with full-back Emilio Izaguirre's display - and the game time given to strikers Georgios Samaras and Miku, plus midfielder Joe Ledley - ahead of the Champions League trip to Moscow.

"Izaguirre, that's the best I've seen him this season and he couldn't have timed it any better really," added the manager.

"It was great to see Samaras back and looking in full flow and Miku and Joe got a good run out, so they are all in good touch.

"I think we are through unscathed. Miku came off with a bit of cramp, but he should be okay.

"The only worry for us is young Adam Matthews, who rolled his ankle yesterday and we'll see how he is in the next couple of days."