‘I love this team’ Lennon delivers verdict on if his Celtic side can beat O’Neills

Dermot Desmond said he believes that the current crop of Celtic players would beat the side that went all the way to Seville.

Neil Lennon was a midfielder during the 2002 cup final, but he played it safe when answering questions.

He said: “It is difficult to make comparisons. I think it would be a 2-2 draw myself!

“It’s all about people’s opinions. I love the team I played in and I love this team.

“Our team did some really great things and this team has done some great things.

“We want them to continue in the same vein.

“They have won the last 11 domestic trophies and had a really good Europa League run last season.

“But in terms of what they achieved over the past three or four years, it is absolutely amazing.”

Lenny added: “It is great to have Dermot’s backing. He’s been so good to me, and for me.

“We do talk on a regular basis, so he’s got his finger on the pulse of the club and the team.

“We talk at length the day before a game or we analyse the game now and again.

He made it clear and we didn’t shy away from it, that he didn’t think the performance against Ross County was good. If you are open and honest with Dermot and straight, you get rewarded for that.

“He’s a very intelligent man and he’s done unbelievable things for the club.

“If you have him as a support or an ear then it gives you a lot of comfort, particularly in a heavily pressurised job like this.”

“And that has been forged over a long time. I’ve been at the club for 20 years.

“I was manager here for four years in my first period and now I’m into my third season.

“It’s not as if there’s a comfort there, he keeps you on your toes.

“He likes high standards and he likes high standards of performance from the players and staff.

“He doesn’t make unrealistic demands of you or unrealistic expectations.

“If you go through a bad period he’s the first one to pick up the phone and talk to you and support you and, likewise, when we have great results he’s there to congratulate you.

“If there’s something that he’s not happy with then we talk it through and look to improve on it.”