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Neil Lennon: We're fully focused on Hamilton challenge

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DESPITE an end-of-year run-in that includes two Glasgow derbies - one of which is the League Cup final - Neil Lennon said he and his players are fully focused on hosting Hamilton Accies at Paradise tomorrow night (Wednesday).

In doing so, the manager described league duties as priority, as he aims to extend his side’s fine run of form. After sweeping Ross County aside 4-1 in the Highlands last Sunday, victory tomorrow night would mark the Scottish champions’ 11th successive win across all competitions.

Neil Lennon said: “We’ve got another five days before the cup final and our main focus is on tomorrow. We’ll deal with what comes after that after the Hamilton.

“The league’s a priority. The season doesn’t end on Sunday if we win the cup or not and we’ve got a lot of games between now and January. Hamilton’s our priority, it’s our most important game and we’ll go strong and aim to win the game as best as we can.

“We’re playing with a fantastic consistency, a fantastic quality of football, a hunger in terms of wanting to win the game and win them well. We had a powerful performance on Sunday off the back of a fantastic performance against Rennes.”

The manager praised Hamilton’s resolve and determination playing in Scotland’s top-flight season-after-season, and expects a tough encounter at Celtic Park on Wednesday. The last time the sides met, a James Forrest goal after four minutes was all that separated the teams - but the Irishman keenly underscored the number of goals his side are now scoring from all areas of the pitch.

Nevertheless, Neil Lennon said he’ll gladly take a win whichever way it may come. He added: “Tomorrow provides another stiff challenge. Hamilton miraculously find a way to maintain their Premiership standards. They’ve got an astute manager in Brian Rice. He’s smart and experienced, but we aren’t taking the game for granted and not thinking about Sunday. We’ll pick a team to win the game tomorrow and take it from there.

“I’m not even thinking about goal difference. It may come in to our thinking if the situation is the same March/April time. In terms of tomorrow, it’s about winning the game. If we win the game great, if we scrape it great. It's important to try and keep our level of performance going.”

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