Lennon delight at win
Celtic boss happy to progress
Last Updated: August 8, 2012 9:31pm
Neil Lennon: Pleased with win in Finland
Celtic boss Neil Lennon could not hide his delight after his side progressed to the UEFA Champions League play-offs following victory over HJK Helsinki.
Goals from Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras took the Scottish champions into the play-offs with a 4-1 aggregate success, guaranteeing them at least a place in the group stages of the Europa League.
Lennon admitted that he was relieved to get past HJK, in what was a tricky looking tie.
Asked if it was important for him to get through against the Finnish club, the Parkhead boss said: "Yes I do, just for my own sanity.
"I have been agonising over this tie for a long, long time, probably since we picked up the (league) trophy in May.
"I have been in a wee bubble for the last six or seven weeks so it is a big relief for myself and a big release of pressure.
"It was a really tough tie.
"The first goal was huge, if it had gone to HJK Helsinki it would have given them a massive lift but overall, on the balance of the game, we were the far superior team.
"It was a really tough tie. Psychologically for me, it is big because I haven't got through the last couple of years but we have built a good team here and they delivered tonight and answered a lot of questions."
Midfielder Victor Wanyama was sent off in the second half with the score at 1-0 after picking up the second of two yellow cards while skipper Brown, Kris Commons, Charlie Mulgrew and substitute Beram Kayal also found themselves in Austrian referee Robert Schorgenhofer's book.
Lennon was clearly unhappy with the official but would only say: "I don't want to take the gloss off the night but to say the referee was inconsistent is an understatement.
"I am not going to go any further than that but it seems we play a different game on the continent than we do in Britain."
HJK Helsinki coach Antti Muurinen had no complaints about the result.
He said: "I must admit that Celtic were the better team in both games."