Lennon relishing life at Celtic ahead of latest Old Firm clash

Glasgow (AFP) –


Neil Lennon has said "it's a joy" to manage Celtic as they prepare to face arch-rivals Rangers in a Glasgow derby at Parkhead on Sunday.

The treble treble winners have already beaten the Gers in this season's Scottish League Cup final and the Scottish Premiership leaders are now five points ahead of the Light Blues heading into this weekend's Old Firm clash.

Celtic will also be looking to extend a formidable record at their Parkhead headquarters, having won all 10 home league games so far this season, while also qualifying for the last-32 of the Europa League.

It all adds up to Lennon believing they are playing as well as at any time during his two spells as the manager of Celtic.

"They are a brilliant bunch," Lennon said of his side.

"Their mentality is absolutely excellent. They play the game - and it is a difficult thing to do - the way people will perceive the proper way.

"Great pace in the team, players who excite you, three players at least in double figures already the season which is a great return."

Lennon added: "The midfield been really strong, all season, the two centre-halves have a great partnership.

"We've got a great goalkeeper and players who can score at any time from any position, so it's a sum of all parts and it's a joy for me to be in this position at the minute."

- Keeping cool -

Meanwhile Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes Alfredo Morelos can surprise his critics by keeping his cool amid the pressure of an Old Firm clash.

The 28-goal Colombian was sent off five times last season, the final one of those red cards came when he aimed an elbow at Celtic captain Scott Brown in March.

This term he has been dismissed just once, for making provocative gestures towards home fans at Motherwell's Fir Park a fortnight ago.

But former Liverpool captain Gerrard said: "I have got no doubt Alfredo will be ready to face this challenge at the weekend. He's in the best place he can be. His behaviour has massively improved again.

"It's going to be hostile at Celtic Park, so it's important for all the players to keep their discipline. Emotions run high all the time in derby matches," the ex-England midfielder added.