Joe Ledley’s goal against Rangers ensured the perfect Christmas for Celtic boss Neil Lennon.
Starting Saturday’s match at home to Kilmarnock Celtic trailed Rangers by four points but after two home wins the hoops find themselves going into the new year two points clear of their city rivals.
“It has been the best Christmas and New Year that I have had,” the hoops boss smiled.
“I’m delighted we have won and it was another good performance and really consistent form we have shown.
“I can’t ask any more of the players at the moment, they have been brilliant.
“I think the timing of the goal was important and I thought we were in the ascendancy without being brilliant.
“I always knew that we could claw it back, I didn’t realise that they would claw it back so quickly but they always had it in them to go on a run like this.”
Ledley’s 52nd minute header was the difference between the two sides with Celtic controlling the second half in contrast to the first meeting between the sides where Rangers stormed back to win 4-2 after being 2-1 down at the break.
That defeat, and especially the performance, still rankles with Lennon whose own position was under threat as Celtic toiled 15 points behind Ally McCoist’s side.
“I’ve been waiting for three months for this game because the 4-2 defeat really hurt me,” Lennon admitted. “I wanted a response and I got that tonight.
“The important thing was to win, make it nine in a row and I want to take it on to 10 now. Psychologically, it will do the players the world of good and it gives the punters a sense of pride going into the new year.
“I thought the control was good, especially in the second half. We didn’t pass it quickly enough in the first half and I didn’t think there was much in the game.
“It was always going to take a goal to settle either team and thankfully we got it.”
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