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Celtic relishing Champions League return

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Neil Lennon is aware of the importance of Champions League football for Celtic as the Bhoys prepare for their first of four qualifiers.

Celtic are set to take on Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first qualification game for next season’s Champions League. The Hoops play the Bosnian giants at the Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium on Tuesday and Neil Lennon is keen to listen to the opening song.

The former Northern Ireland international has played in the competition as a Celtic player and also as a manager.

And while speaking to FourFourTwo, he said that this competition is crucial for player development as well as the development of the club and its manager.

“I have had experiences of it at Celtic before and for your development as a player and a manager and for the club, it means a lot.

“It is one of our main priorities, there is no question of that.

“We have eight games to negotiate if we can and that is almost a quarter of a (league) season.

“We know it is a difficult road to travel but we know the rewards are great at the end of it.

“These are the most difficult games. Champions League, when you get to the group stages is fantastic.

“But the hard work is getting there.

“We could have had an easier draw.

“I think Sarajevo will be tough opponents over the two games but the guys know what the incentives are, they know what is at stake.”

Sarajevo boss Husref Musemic insists his side are underdogs against the Scottish champions.

He said: “We believe Celtic are favourites but we will give our best to achieve the best possible result.

“We are going to fight but we are realistic to say that Celtic is the favourites but it is football and that it is why it is interesting.”