He didn’t mention and team by name, he didn’t have to. Steven Gerrard knows who the message was aimed at.
After winning at Ibrox in September Celtic went three points clear at the top of the table. When they lost at Livingston they slipped two behind before going level again. Last night, after their ninth successive SPFL win Celtic went five points clear, the biggest gap of the season with Gerrard’s side facing Hibs at Easter Road tomorrow night.
Lennon has been in management for a decade, he knows the game and the messages to send out to plant doubt in the mind of your rivals.
Last night he told The Sun:
I’m delighted. It gives the players a couple of days rest and we look forward to a difficult game at the weekend. And it puts pressure on the rest of the teams around us to win their games.
I can’t ask any more. That’s what we set out to do tonight, win the game, and we’ve done that with a bit of style as well.
I was so pleased with a lot of the performances tonight. More importantly the manner we approached the game because we knew Hearts would be up and at it, and they were.
So we saw that off and once the game opened up we were very, very good. I can’t ask any more apart from putting even more of an emphatic score-line on it.
We had two great chances before half-time and we had great chances in the second half to go 3-0 or 4-0 up. And if we had done that we could have maybe ran riot. But the intensity and quality of our play at times was outstanding on a very difficult surface.
We looked good, it’s another clean sheet against a team who were very much up for the game and played with a lot of pride. But we saw that off and it was a really good job. We’re in a really good place at the minute.