The hosts squandered a series of chances over the first leg of the third qualifying round tie and losing an away goal means that they now face a tense 90 minutes in the Finnish capital. Lennon was upbeat afterwards, though, praising his players for the resilience they displayed in coming from behind and also the general quality of play in their first competitive match of the campaign. However, in acknowledgement of the club's poor record in European away games he said the team would probably have to score again to qualify.
"Even at 3-1 the tie would still have been in the balance," he said. "Are we capable of scoring an away goal? We proved that last year and we will maybe have to do it again next Wednesday night. We have goals in the team. Our away record's not the best so next week would be a good time to improve on that.
"The tie's in the balance. The scoreline doesn't reflect the performance but sometimes that happens. We badly want European football here and the players showed how committed they are to that."
Neither Fraser Forster nor Victor Wanyama were able smother a Rasmus Schuller attack and he scored to give Helsinki a significant away goal. Although Lennon said the concession had been "a bit too easy for my liking" he talked up the overall display and compared it favourably to the 0-0 home draw with FC Sion this time last year.
"I'm not disappointed at all. It's a huge improvement on where we were this time last year. Helsinki can consider themselves hugely fortunate that it was only 2-1. Some of the football and the chances created were superb against a team that wanted to sit in and counter attack. They will think they have a good result but I've seen enough to think there is plenty of scope for us.
"We went a goal down but showed brilliant character, the game could have got away from us and our energy levels could have sagged. But they clawed their way back into the game brilliantly. We created a lot of chances. There was a lot of good play. We can't say they stifled us or they defended brilliantly. Maybe we could have been better in front of goal or with our final ball but generally our attacking play was pretty good.
"They showed that they want this. I'm not looking at it through rose-tinted glasses. But I'm pleased with the performance, I can't be over-critical given that it's the first competitive game. It's a marked improvement on last year."
Hooper echoed Lennon's confidence in Celtic's ability to score next week. "If we are solid at the back I think we have enough attacking players to score goals," he said. "We conceded a sloppy goal from our point of view but we came back and scored two good goals. I think there is disappointment that we conceded the away goal but we have to go over there and play good football again."