• Champions League

Lennon: Juventus showdown a 'beauty'

ESPN staff
December 20, 2012
Neil Lennon cannot wait to face Juventus © PA Photos

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hailed his side's Champions League last-16 draw against Juventus as "a beauty" and backed them to push the Italian champions all the way in the race for a place in the quarter-finals.

Lennon guided his Celtic team through the group phase of the Champions League and he could not hide his excitement when he summed up his feelings on the draw with Sky Sports.

"In terms of glamour, it's a beauty of a draw," Lennon said. "Juventus are one of the great European teams, the Italian champions and it's great. It's going to be very tough for us, but we'll take it as it comes and I'm sure our supporters are looking forward to it.

"The draw could have been kinder, but it could have been worse as well. It's certainly something to look forward to. We'll have to take some kind of advantage with us to Turin. Celtic Park is very special on a European night and I'm sure they'll raise the roof once again.

"We believe that over two games anything is possible. Juventus have been very consistent over the last 18 months and they have a great winning mentality, but so do we. Our ambition is to go as far as we can in this competition and we believe we can do this."

He added: "It's very exciting for me as a young manager to be in this position. It's come very early in my management career, but I'm going to enjoy it and I wouldn't go along with the idea that Celtic have nothing to lose in this competition.

"There is always pressure when you are Celtic boss. Going back to the Jock Stein era and latterly with Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan, the expectation is always massive here."

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