IF Danny Lennon has a bogey team, it is Celtic.
Lennon never managed to beat them during his playing days – injury kept him out of Raith Rovers' Coca-Cola Cup final win in 1994 – while he has endured only heartache as a manager. Since succeeding Gus MacPherson at St Mirren in the summer of 2010, Lennon has overseen seven defeats in succession, that inglorious run made worse by the fact his side have not managed a solitary goal in that time. Celtic, in contrast, have rattled in 20, including two bunches of fives.
It would seem to offer little grounds for optimism ahead of the sides' meeting at Celtic Park tomorrow, but Lennon is not overly disheartened. He looks at Celtic's home form this season – defeats to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Kilmarnock, draws with Hibernian, St Johnstone and Arbroath – and believes an opportunity exists for his team to pile on the misery.
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Lennon has been bemused by the contrast in tempo between Celtic's Champions League matches and their home domestic games. He believes the "fear factor" is no longer a consideration ahead of a trip to Glasgow's east end, and that the Celtic players have let down their manager too often.
St Mirren, stuck in 11th place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, would not seem to be the in the best shape to take advantage of Celtic's home sickness, but Lennon believes his team is ready to take advantage of any further slip-ups.
"There has been inconsistency from Celtic this season," said the St Mirren manager. "People maybe thought the demise of Rangers would see Celtic walking away with things, but that's them just got to the top of the league in the last week or two and some teams are running them very, very close right now.