Lennon hopes for heroes in Barca

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Neil Lennon hopes his players can put on a heroic display against Barcelona
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Neil Lennon hopes his players can put on a heroic display against Barcelona

Neil Lennon wants to see a squad full of heroes when Celtic take on Barcelona in their Champions League clash at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.

The visitors may be facing a side which ranks with the best club sides ever but the Celtic boss, still buoyed by the 5-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over St Mirren on Saturday, wants to see his players show they are made of stern stuff.

"I am hoping there will be 11 or 14 heroes tonight, not just one," he said. "Players have already made their name in this competition and I am hoping a few more do it tonight."

Lennon added: "We have to be compact and play with a great intensity but what we do have is pace, good technical ability and we come off a great performance at the weekend.

"We are in a good place at the minute. We are hoping that the bubble doesn't burst but if it does then we can pick ourselves up very quickly."

The Hoops boss escaped twice with draws from the Catalan capital when he played for the Scottish champions, the first time in March, 2004 when 19-year-old keeper David Marshall and fellow youngster John Kennedy made their names in the goalless draw which took the Parkhead side through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup on a 1-0 aggregate.

The following year the Northern Irishman returned to the Nou Camp when striker John Hartson confirmed his status as a Celtic favourite by scoring in the 1-1 draw which gave the Hoops their first Champions League away point.

Barca's superstars have not lost a game in La Liga or the Champions League this season and sit top of Group G with maximum points after two games. However, at the pre-match press conference coach Tito Vilanova was quizzed repeatedly about the defensive crisis he has on his hands with Gerard Pique joining Daniel Alves, Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal on the sidelines while midfielder Sergio Busquets is suspended.

"Injuries are normally a headache for a coach but we have got what we have got," he said. "All Champions League games are complicated and I am worried because Celtic are very fast up front and they proved it against Spartak."

He added: "At the beginning people maybe did not take into account of the possibility of Celtic going through but with four points from two games and two games at home to go, they have a chance."

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