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Celtic's Lennon admits relief after big win without Wanyama, Hooper, Wilson

Celtic boss Neil Lennon admits he was relieved after his side managed to get past Shakhter Karagandy in their Champions League playoff qualifier on Wednesday night.

The Bhoys turned round a two-goal shortfall from the first leg in Astana last week to win 3-0 at home and progress to the group stage proper 3-2 on aggregate.

Lennon, who has had to deal with the summer departures of key players Victor Wanyama (Southampton), Gary Hooper (Norwich City) and Kelvin Wilson (Nottingham Forest), was thankful to his current squad for getting the job done under a fair amount of pressure.

"It is the greatest thing I have ever done in football," he said after the match.

"We lost three very important players (Wanyama, Hooper and Wilson) and it has been difficult to replace them.

"Coming from a two-goal deficit as well it makes the players' performances all the more remarkable.

"The players were wonderful."

He added: "I am relieved.

"There is a great sense of pride in what we achieved considering we lost Hooper, Kelvin and Wanyama, who were the spine of the team for a year and half."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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