Neil Lennon: Celtic team 'playing as well as any I've managed'

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says his squad are "playing as well as any of the teams I've managed" at the Glasgow club.

Thursday's 2-1 success at St Mirren was the leaders' 11th Scottish Premiership win in a row.

They go into Sunday's home Old Firm derby against Rangers five points clear of their rivals, who are second.

"I can't remember the last time we were on a run like this - it's absolutely fantastic," Lennon said.

"The consistency levels, the quality of our play and the will to win is very, very strong."

Lennon has already led Celtic to last season's league title and Scottish Cup, and the Scottish League Cup this term, during his second spell as manager. His side have also qualified for the Europa League last 32.

Celtic host Rangers seeking an 11th consecutive home league win this season.

"They are a fantastic bunch," said Lennon of his players. "It's not been ideal to have a few important players out through injury. We've had to rejig things a little bit - but now, slowly but surely, we're getting the full complement of players back at a really good time.

"I have to do very little with these players. I've learned so much from them myself in the 10 months I've been here. I enjoy working with them. I enjoy watching them train, watching them play, their professionalism.

"The quality of their play, certainly since August, has been magnificent in all competitions, and they keep going and there's no sign of them letting up.

"Their fitness levels are good, they look after themselves really well and their mentality is absolutely excellent. They play the game, as people perceive, the proper way."

Rangers will be looking to narrow the gap to two points with a game in hand on Sunday, but Lennon was "not interested" about what effect a third derby win of the season for his side would have on their Glasgow rivals.

"For us, it would psychologically be great," he said. "We're at home and our home form has been absolutely fantastic.

"It's the first one we've played at home for quite a while, so the fans will be looking forward to it as much as the players."

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