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Samaras hat-trick pleases Celtic boss

Celtic boss Neil Lennon was delighted with the 6-0 drubbing of Inverness in their Co-operative Insurance Cup third-round tie at Parkhead. Greece striker Georgios Samaras showed why Lennon is looking to offer him a new contract with a hat-trick.

Anthony Stokes scored a double - one from the spot - and Gary Hooper scored his first competitive goal for Celtic since signing from Scunthorpe in the summer.

"I've felt this was coming," Lennon said. "We have been creating chances in games and not putting them away.

"Any time you score six goals against any opposition it is very pleasing.

"I just want to send out a message. We have goalscorers in the team, goalscorers from midfield and I was pretty happy with the clean sheet.

"We looked a good team out there tonight.

"The confidence is good, the level of performance has been good but we put our chances away tonight.

"We are not getting carried away but the competition is healthy.

"The movement of the front three was very good and they will be a handful for any team.

"I was pleased with Hooper, it was a chance to get him 90 minutes.

"There wasn't a poor performance out there tonight, the application was good and the quality of the performance is very high."

Lennon reiterated his desire to keep Samaras at Parkhead.

He said: "Samaras was excellent and that will give him a lift.

"He was in a different position tonight but the timing of his runs were very good as was his level of performance.

"His attitude pre-season was fantastic and hopefully we will talk to his representatives next month."

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