Lennon not critical of defenders

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Football News

Neil Lennon refused to point the finger at centre-backs Glenn Loovens and Daniel Majstorovic after Celtic had to recover from a ropey opening to beat Hamilton at Parkhead to go top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Mark McLaughlin scored a shock opener for the visitors after three minutes and, with the home defence in some disarray, Hoops' keeper Fraser Forster had to produce several good saves to prevent the home side falling further behind However, Shaun Maloney levelled with a header and the former Aston Villa player scored with a wonderful free-kick after the break before Gary Hooper sealed the win that takes them above Old Firm rivals Rangers on goal difference.

The Celtic manager said: "We had to give it to them at half-time and the second half was better. But overall, I've been pleased with the two centre-halves. I think they have looked pretty solid and they can't be at their best every game."

He added: "They didn't have a great start but in general they got better as the game went on.

"They weren't the only culprits. We were poor in possession and the tempo was poor.

"So I wouldn't point the finger at those two as the main reason we got off to a poor start."

Accies manager Billy Reid claimed the free-kick awarded against James Goodwin for a challenge on Scott Brown, which led to Celtic's second goal, was the turning point.

He said: "I approached the fourth official and told him it was never a free-kick but they still have to score. Maloney put it in the top corner and that was a kick in the teeth for us.

"The start was remarkable. To score at Celtic Park is a big, big thing for us but it could have been two or three nil in the first 20 minutes and that's a statement to make coming here.

"But we knew Celtic would come back at us and over the 90 minutes I can have no complaints."

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Shaun Maloney
James Goodwin
Fraser Forster
Premier League
Neil Lennon
Glenn Loovens
Gary Hooper
Aston Villa
Scott Brown
Scott Brown

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