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A great win we must build on

CELTIC'S win against Barcelona has to be up there among the top three or four best Scottish results of all time.

The Lisbon Lions still have to be top of the list, and then we had Aberdeen in Gothenburg and Rangers winning the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1972, but in terms of the downward spiral which our game has been going through, Celtic's Champions League win was something special.

Scotland memorably defeated France home and away, but I think Wednesday's victory was better, because Celtic were playing against a team with so much financial muscle. I can't give Neil Lennon enough praise for his contribution. People forget that he is still young and inexperienced as a manager, but he has gone a long way in the game on the back of one result.

He showed he understands every tactical element of the game and implemented it against the world's best. He looked at every aspect of the match, not just offensively, not just defensively, but every single avenue of what Celtic had to do to have a chance of winning.

Neil was already missing four or five key players, and had to reshuffle when Mikael Lustig had to go off, but he coped incredibly well.

The result is one that will have alerted every club in the world to his abilities, but although I am sure Neil will ultimately want to manage in the best league possible, I don't think he will be thinking about that for now. He will want to just keep doing the job he is doing, and keep pitting his wits against the world's best managers in the Champions League. He won't be thinking, 'the first big job that comes up, I'm away', but will want to stay at Celtic for a few more years yet.

In fact, right now leaving Parkhead might be the furthest thing from his mind. It would take a big club to prise him away because he might miss out on the Champions League if he went to a club in the Barclays Premier League. Liverpool is the sort of club he might end up at down the line, or Newcastle, although Alan Pardew has just signed an eight-year-contract there.

It was a special team performance from Celtic, but two or three stars were made against Barcelona, the two goalscorers for a start. There is going to be so much interest in Victor Wanyama during the January transfer window, but a place in the last 16 might just persuade him to stay.

There are so many good young players in Scotland right now, but Wanyama is in a different league. It is too easy for him in the SPL sometimes. With that big, strutting style of his, I think he needs tested so he can up his game.

Then there is Tony Watt. The way the boy plays the game is so old- fashioned, it's just 'give me the ball over the top or into feet and I will just be so positive'. He has desire, determination, knows what he is good at and is big and strong. He can still improve his game awareness, but if he can do that and become even stronger and quicker, he could go anywhere in the game.

Honourable mentions also go to Kris Commons, who tracked back in a way I always doubted he was capable of – because he didn't want to be the one that let Celtic down – and Adam Matthews, who had the pace to match Lionel Messi.

It was a great result for Scottish football and we must keep this going now. Everybody must do their bit. We must get back on track at international level, under a new manager, and we must hope that Hearts – and other clubs that are in danger of going to the wall – find a way to survive.

I said all along that I fancied Celtic to go through from their Champions League group, I just wrote off the two Barca games. But here is how I see things going: Benfica will beat Celtic in Lisbon, but I think the Parkhead side will do enough against Spartak in their last game to qualify. Russian teams are usually terrible travellers, and by then they may not have anything to play for.

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