Neil Lennon impressed with Celtic’s display in rout of Ross County
Neil Lennon hailed the “most complete” performance since his return to Celtic after the 6-0 rout of Ross County took them top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Mohamed Elyounoussi fired the home side ahead from 16 yards in the fourth minute but the dominant champions somehow failed to add to their lead by half-time.
However, the Hoops struck four times in nine minutes at the start of the second half through Odsonne Edouard, Callum McGregor, Liam Fontaine’s own goal and James Forrest to blow away the Highlanders.
Elyounoussi made it six from close range in the 71st minute to leave Celtic one point clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers.
Lennon, who returned in February for his second spell as boss and helped the Parkhead side complete the domestic treble treble, was delighted.
He said: “It is probably the most complete performance I’ve had certainly in my second spell here and maybe among the best I’ve had in my time here over my two spells.
“I thought we were brilliant first half and very unfortunate not to go in leading by more.
“I know Ross (Laidlaw) from my time at Hibs and he made some spectacular saves.
“Our football at times was exhilarating and our athleticism, appetite and intensity to win the game.
“I threw down a challenge to them at half-time, I said ‘you can be one of two things, a nice team that plays good football and gives the opposition oxygen to stay in the game or you can go out and be ruthless’ and they answered me in spades today.
“We have a good team, I think there is more to come from them but that was a marvellous team performance all round.
“It could have been a lot more than six and that is not being disrespectful to Ross County, anyone at the game would have seen that.”
Lennon was happy to put the pressure on Rangers, who play Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
“It was the kind of performance we know they are capable of,” said the Northern Irishman. “We can enjoy our night tonight.
“It is going to go back and forth for a while but if we play like that in the majority of the games it is going to take a good team to stop us. But we are not getting carried away.”
County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell let his players know that he was far from happy about the way his side responded to going 2-0 down just after the break.
He said: “The manner of the second goal wasn’t ideal but after that the body language and how we approached the remainder of the game wasn’t acceptable.
“It’s something we’ve not seen from our group which was the biggest disappointment.
“When you concede goals you need a strength of character. The crowd get behind Celtic, they get into the flow and we have to nullify that and we never done that. So many factors were unacceptable.”