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Celtic boss wants early start to help Scottish clubs in Europe

Neil Lennon claims Scottish clubs' struggle in Europe because of the late start to the season. Celtic and Hibernian both crashed to 3-0 defeats in the first legs of their respective European qualifiers this week, their first competitive matches of the campaign.

The results have reopened the debate over whether the Scottish season should begin sooner so sides are match-fit for the Champions League and Europa League.

Hoops boss Lennon also called for the reintroduction of a winter break, which was scrapped almost 10 years ago in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

"I'd be in favour of a winter break, certainly," Lennon said.

"In my first few years of Celtic, they brought it in. We found it very beneficial as players in the squad.

"The season didn't run on too long after that into the summer.

"As regards playing these important games early, I do think it would be beneficial if we had some game time before we went into these games."

Asked if the change should be adopted as quickly as possible, Lennon said: "If they can, yeah. It's something that obviously we'd need to discuss with the SPL."

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