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Danny Lennon: We can compete with Celtic

HOW do you stop a juggernaught like Celtic?

Danny Lennon takes a sharp intake of breath and smiles. The St Mirren manager has clearly been giving it some consideration.

Knocking the champions off their perch is a difficult enough task ordinarily but, with Celtic demonstrating near invincible qualities in recent months, it has become a task bordering on the impossible. Throw in the fact that St Mirren have not recorded a win in Glasgow's east end for almost 24 years and the prospect of a shock seems even more remote.

Lennon, though, is one of life's great optimists. It is a sunny attitude that will come in handy as St Mirren tomorrow look to become the first Scottish team to score a goal past Fraser Forster since Niall McGinn netted a consolation for Aberdeen in a 3-1 defeat back on November 23.

"Every player, coach and manager wants to go and challenge themselves against the best and Celtic are absolutely flying just now," he said. "I think Lenny [Neil Lennon] and his staff are using this run as another incentive for them, to give them a different focus. They have an unbelievable budget compared to the other clubs and they should be running away with the league with the money that they're spending.

"It doesn't surprise me that they can take that amount of goals off teams. Fortunately for us, football's not played with money or budgets; it's 11 versus 11 guys out there. The challenge for us is to go and score a goal and pick up points."

Lennon takes heart from St Mirren's defeat of Celtic in last year's League Cup semi-final, as well as the way his side contained the champions for 53 minutes in their previous meeting last month.

"We showed last season that with 100% application and concentration for 90 minutes and a bit of luck, that you can compete with them," he added. "We did that for 50 minutes in the game a few weeks ago. Hopefully the young ones have gained the experience of that.

"All I would say to them is to make sure they enjoy every single minute of it."

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