Football - Lennon keen to see run continue

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is demanding no let-up from his side after seeing them extend their unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership to 21 games with a 3-0 home win over Motherwell on Saturday.

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Football - Lennon keen to see run continue
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Neil Lennon, right, wants Celtic to keep improving

The Hoops continued their relentless charge at the top of the standings after attacking midfielder Kris Commons took his goals tally to 19 for the season with a double - the second from the spot - before former Celtic captain Stephen McManus scored an own goal.

Parkhead striker Anthony Stokes was shown a straight red card by referee Bobby Madden late in the game for a challenge on Well skipper Keith Lasley but that was a mere footnote as the champions emerged from another league fixture unscathed.

The Hoops have not conceded a goal in nine domestic games and are now 13 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen with two games in hand over the Pittodrie men.

However, Lennon, who dismissed being linked with a move to Norwich as "speculation" and no more, is happiest with the league form which has so far produced 18 wins and three draws.

"The most pleasing stat is that we're unbeaten in 21 games," he said.

"That shows great consistency.

"I must say, though, that my goalkeeper (Fraser Forster) made a brilliant save at 2-0.

"His concentration levels are brilliant along with his distribution.

"He's the main reason we've kept the clean sheet record going but to be 21 games unbeaten is something the players can be proud of.

"I don't want them to stop there, though, I want them to keep going."

Lennon acknowledged the part played in Celtic's fine run by Commons, who is in the form of his life.

The Celtic boss, who will this week try to persuade Georgios Samaras, missing through injury, to extend his contract at Parkhead which runs out in the summer, said: "It's another two goals and he's up to 19 now, which, for a guy who is not a natural centre forward, it's a wonderful contribution.

"He's the consummate professional and really enjoying his football at the minute.

"He's just really instrumental in the way we want to play.

"He'll be a contender for player of the year - but Virgil van Dijk has had a wonderful season along with Scot t Brown who has been so consistent.

"Had James Forrest been fit earlier in the season I think he'd also have been a contender given the way he's playing.

"He gives is us such a thrilling dimension with the way he plays."

Third-placed Motherwell's six-game winning run almost inevitably came to an end at a ground where they have not won since 2008.

However, manager Stuart McCall took heart from his side's performance - and defeats for two of their second-place rivals, Aberdeen and Dundee United.

He said: "We'll take a lot from it. That is as good as we've been at Celtic Park in terms of creating chances.

"When you lose the first goal after four minutes it can be a long day and the roof can cave in at times, especially with the quality they've got and we rode our luck at times.

"But after half-time it's not a case of damage limitation, we wanted to get the next goal and give it a go.

"But they hit us on the break and 3-0 killed us. There's a lot of pleasing things, though - not least the other results."

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