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Ex-Celtic assistant Robertson hoping Lennon can avoid Champions League disappointment

Former Celtic assistant manager John Robertson hopes that Neil Lennon can safely guide his side into the Champions League knockout phase this season.

The Hoops need to beat Spartak Moscow and hope Barcelona avoid defeat to Benfica in the final Group G fixtures on December 5 and Robertson has his fingers crossed that Lennon evades disappointment 11 years down the rack.

2001 saw Celtic, with Lennon in midfield, beat Juventus 4-3 in their final match but Porto defeated Rosenborg which caused the Glasgow giants to crash out and Robertson does not want the same to occur this year, especially after their shock victory over Barcelona recently.

"Celtic did terrifically well in that Champions League group and we played great in the three home matches," the former Nottingham Forest star told the Daily Record.

"But we still went out after gaining nine points. Neil Lennon played in that Celtic team and it was heartbreaking to go out that night. We gave the Hoops supporters one of the most thrilling European nights ever when we beat Juventus 4-3 but we crashed out because Porto had beaten Rosenborg 1-0.

"I'd hate for Lennon to suffer the same fate as a manager that he did as a player back then because he deserves to take Celtic through to the last 16.

"What Neil is doing at Celtic is absolutely fantastic and his team coped with Barcelona very well. Celtic knew Barca would have plenty of the ball over both games but what impressed me most about Neil's team was that they caused Barcelona problems when his players had the ball.

"A lot of sides cannot do that because they are too knackered to do anything with it when they get it after chasing Barca around for long periods.

"To beat Barcelona at home was a brilliant effort by Neil and the boys and I was delighted for them."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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