Neil Lennon: Celtic still in UCL tie
Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his side can still qualify for the Champions League group stage, despite their 2-0 play-off round first-leg defeat to Shakhter Karagandy.
The Bhoys allowed Sergey Khizhnichenko and Andrei Finonchenko to score either side of the break for the hosts, leaving their chances of progressing into the next round of the competition hanging in the balance.
However, Lennon is adamant the tie is not done and duster yet, with Shakhter still to come to Glasgow next week.
"It's not over yet. We've got to go back to Celtic Park," he said. "It's a disappointing result. We should have scored and that would have put a different complexion on the tie.
"There is plenty for me to chew on in terms of chances but Shakhter didn't surprise us with the way they played."
Celtic struggled to deal with Shakhter's long throw-ins, the source of the opening goal, and Lennon admitted his side were not at their best going forward either.
"We knew they would throw balls forward and we should have dealt with the first one a lot better," he said. "I don't know how many chances we had tonight -- clear-cut ones as well -- but if you don't take your chances you make life difficult for yourself. I'm not down and out just yet.
"There are a few players who will be disappointed with their performances tonight. They've got to get better very quickly."
Steven Mouyokolo and Virgil van Dijk were both handed their European debuts for Celtic and started in the centre of defence, with Efe Ambrose named on the bench.
"Efe has been in South Africa, Aberdeen and now another flight to Kazakhstan," Lennon said. "I wanted the extra height to cope with the aerial bombardment that we were going to get. In the main, we dealt with it okay. We just switched off at one throw-in.
"I didn't really feel uncomfortable in the game at all. I thought we would score. But the fact that we didn't just makes it that little bit more difficult now."
Asked if the loss of key players this summer, such as Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson, might have contributed to the defeat, Lennon said: "Possibly. I still think we've got enough in the squad to come through the tie so that's what we will endeavour to do."