Football - Lennon: Ex-Hoops have nothing to prove

Neil Lennon has told Dundee's former Celtic players they have nothing to prove to him.

PA Sport
Football - Lennon: Ex-Hoops have nothing to prove
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Neil Lennon says Dundee's former Hoops stars 'don't have to prove anything to me'

Lennon was in charge of the development team when the likes of Nicky Riley and Ryan Conroy were at Celtic Park, while he played alongside goalkeeper Rab Douglas at Parkhead.

Dundee captain Gary Irvine and manager Barry Smith also began their careers at Celtic Park but their motivation tonight will be to cut the gap at the bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Celtic manager Lennon said: "They have nothing to prove to us. I know Nicky well, I know Ryan Conroy very well, and Declan Gallagher.

"They were good young pros here but we felt it was best for them, for their careers, to move on, and now they are getting first-team football which they probably wouldn't have got here.

"They are talented and maybe they will want to prove a point. They don't have to, but maybe in their own minds they will want to prove a point to some people.

"They don't have to prove anything to me, I know how good they are. And of course, big Rab, who had a stormer against us at Celtic Park. Again, he will want to put the shutters up against us."

Riley, for one, is merely looking to savour the occasion rather than prove himself to his former employers.

Riley said: "There are a few boys in our team who were on Celtic's books when they were younger.

"I'm sure they will be in the same boat as me, just looking forward to playing against them. There is no added motivation, it's just a game I'm looking forward to. These are the games you want to play in."

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