Neil Lennon insists Celtic would have done better if they had avoided the Champions League group of death



Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists the Hoops would have had a genuine chance of progressing to the Champions League last-16 had they not been drawn in the group of death.

Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Barcelona means Brendan Rodgers’ side will pick up the wooden spoon in Group C ahead of their final match away to Manchester City.

Celtic have collected two points from an entertaining 3-3 home draw with City and a 1-1 stalemate away to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Neil Lennon 2But Hibs head coach Lennon, who mastermind Celtic’s memomrabe 2-1 win over the Catalan giants in 2012, reckons they would have fared much better in a different pool.

Lennon, speaking to BT Sport, said: “It’s the toughest group out of the lot and you look at some of the other groups, I think Celtic would have done very, very well.

“I think they’re still a work in progress under the new manager, domestically they’re dominant but it’s a huge step up in class playing the likes of Barcelona and Man City. That can only stand the players in good stead going forward.

“But it’s important to have Champions League football every year, and the hard work is done July, August time.”