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Neil Lennon happy to be on home turf

Neil Lennon is looking forward to home comforts when Partick Thistle visit Celtic Park on New Year's Day.

The Hoops emerged from two away games over the Christmas period with two narrow 1-0 wins at St Johnstone and Inverness to make it 18 games unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership, where they lead second-place Motherwell by 11 points

The Celtic boss will ignore the Jags' dismal form - their 5-1 home defeat to the Steelmen on Sunday means they have not won in nine games and are third-bottom of the table - to enjoy the prospect of a return to Parkhead.

Lennon said: "Thistle do play good football. They are pretty rigid in the way they play, 4-3-3, but they have good players in midfield and a striker in (Kris) Doolan who can score goals so we have to make sure our concentration levels are good.

"But it is great to be back home.

"After really tough back-to-back games away from home I think the players will be looking forward to getting out at Celtic Park and playing.

"Teams have made it pretty difficult for us to break them down at times but we have played very well at home.

"The pitch is always in pretty good condition and after a good win against Inverness the players are looking forward to it."

Lennon is hoping to have Charlie Mulgrew back from his groin injury to bolster a squad which he believes will be stronger for the first game of 2014.

"We are hoping Charlie will be fit," said the Northern Irishman.

"Having Charlie back will give us a bit of boost, we have missed him at times because he is such a good player.

"We will be a little bit stronger going into the game.

"Adam Matthews got a full 90 minutes, James Forrest played most of the game so both of them will feel the benefit of that going into Wednesday."

Derk Boerrigter is also nearing a return from a hamstring problem but Lennon revealed Wednesday's game might come too soon for the Dutch winger.

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