Neil Lennon comments on Celtic’s Europa League chances

Neil Lennon suggests that progression in the Europa League can help erase the disappointment of Celtic's failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has told the Glasgow Evening Times that the Europa League could be the making of Ronny Deila’s side, if they can reach the latter rounds of the competition following their Champions League disappointment.

Having recently faced defeat in two-legged playoff round against Swedish outfit Molde, Scottish Premiership champions Celtic will feature in the 2015-16 Europa League.

Following his second failed attempt to secure Champions League football for Scottish giants Celtic, only success in the second tier European tournament will be enough for Bhoys boss Deila to convince those who remain unsure about his ability.

However, former Celtic boss Lennon retains sympathy for his successor, who he believes can find redemption by guiding the club into the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Speaking to the Glasgow Evening Times, the current Bolton Wanderers head coach said: "Celtic have Ajax, Fenerbahce and Molde are no mugs either. So, yeah, the group is mouth-watering. It will be good for Ronny and the players.

“It just adds to the experience that they’ll get playing against the quality of sides they’ll come up against. And it’s a group that Ronny and the players will think they can get out of.

“Ajax maybe aren’t as strong as they were, Fenerbache have spent a bit of money and Molde are certainly beatable home and away.

“So maybe that will be a good yardstick for building for next season – and hopefully for the Champions League.”

Celtic kick off their Europa League campaign on September 17 with a trip to Ajax in the Netherlands.

The club’s first home game comes just two weeks later, as the Scottish outfit host Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch