DCSIMG

Caley’s John Hughes faces difficult test as Celtic come to town

Northern Ireland's Alan Mannus

Northern Ireland's Alan Mannus

The hectic festive schedule continues on Sunday afternoon for Neil Lennon’s Celtic with the long journey to Inverness to face Caledonian Thistle, now under the managership of John Hughes.

Hughes will be desperate to chalk up his first home League win as Caley Thistle Manager against his old club – but will be all too aware that unbeaten Celtic will present a major challenge.

The main threat to Neil Lennon’s men may well come from Northern Ireland Internationalist Billy McKay, who has scored a phenomenal seventeen goals in 19 appearances so far during the current campaign on top of his tally of 27 last season.

Meanwhile, Celtic boss Neil Lennon heaped praise on Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk, who scored a fine individual goal at McDiarmid Park on Boxing Day to secure a 1-0 win for the visitors.

“It was a marvellous individual goal and it just shows Virgil has that technical ability,” said Lennon. “He’s a player who has really lit up Scottish football this year.”
Lennon also took time out to praise Tommy Wright’s St. Johnstone and Northern Ireland International goalkeeper (and former Linfield, Larne and Carrick Rangers man) Alan Mannus.

“I thought in the first-half we were excellent but then St Johnstone came at us for about 15 minutes. I thought they were a little bit sharper on the ball and had a little bit more intent in the way they were running their channels,” he said.

“However, we weathered the storm and if it hadn’t been for Alan Mannus the scoreline could have been more comfortable.”
Neither Lennon nor the travelling Celtic support will be satisfied with ending 2013 with anything less than another three points.

 

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