Hoops chief praises Euro stars
Neil Lennon is hoping Celtic will be given 'more respect' by their Champions League rivals after holding Benfica to a 0-0 draw.
The Hoops boss was proud of his players for their performance in Wednesday's opening Group G clash against the Portuguese outfit at Parkhead. And, with the likes of Gary Hooper, Georgios Samaras, Joe Ledley, Beram Kayal and Anthony Stokes all missing because of injury, Lennon was unable to field his strongest starting XI for the game. Indeed only skipper Scott Brown, who is struggling with an ongoing hip complaint, had any experience of playing in the Champions League group stages. But Lennon felt Celtic's spirited display will send out a warning to the likes of Spartak Moscow and Barcelona not to expect an easy game against them in upcoming encounters. "I hope that we gained a little bit more respect tonight from the footballing world," said Lennon. "I think Benfica went into the game heavy favourites but I don't think you could call the game tonight. "I think a draw was probably a fair result. "It shows that we have a bit of depth to the squad and can compete at this level. "We didn't work their keeper as much as we would have liked but saying that I was very pleased with the team performance tonight. "It was a very good tempo, a good shape to us, we were committed and played with real zest and no fear against a class side. "It was a decent start for us, it could have been better it could have been worse. "I think they will probably be the happier going away, I don't think there was anything really between the teams. "There were 10 guys out there making their Champions League debut against a very experienced Champions League side so I am very proud of them."