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Defeat-free campaign Lennon's 'finest hour'

NEIL Lennon said last night that pulling off the feat of remaining unbeaten for the entire SPFL Premiership season would represent his finest achievement at Celtic.

The Parkhead side have reached the 21-game mark without defeat ahead of facing Hibernian today.

Should they continue that record for the remaining 17 games of the campaign - starting with the match at Easter Road this afternoon - the Northern Irishman feels it would surpass his previous two title successes, and last season's qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League.

"It would probably be the best thing I've ever done," the Celtic manager said. "I think it's almost an impossible thing to do. We are just over the half-way mark so there is a long way to go. Just one bad day and that is it.

"So it's a real test for us to keep the players fit and healthy and keep them at their peak, both mentally and physically. But we are enjoying that challenge."

With no resolution forthcoming on the futures of Georgios Samaras and Joe Ledley, ahead of the closure of the transfer window on Friday, there had been veiled threats that the pair would be "risking" their first-team places if they didn't sign contract extensions.

Both players would be able to leave Parkhead for nothing in the summer, when their current deals expire, and can talk to other clubs now.

However, Lennon insisted he would not hesitate to use either player this afternoon.

"I'm happy with his [Samaras'] frame of mind," Lennon said. "Obviously we've been talking to his representatives and he's in a good place so I'll have no hesitation in playing him.

"It's the same with Joe."

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