HARD WORK REAPS REWARDS
Celtic View|Vol 56 Issue 16
John Kennedy was delighted with Celtic’s response against Motherwell – now he wants to extend that form from here on
TONY CONNELLY
THE level of performance from Celtic in their win over Motherwell is exactly what John Kennedy was looking for from the team. The challenge now will be to consistently hit such heights in the upcoming fixtures and the Hoops’ assistant manager said the players are experienced enough to know hard work is the most efficient fuel for success.

Celtic’s dominant 4-1 win against Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday (November 8) saw them head into the international break on a high, however recent weeks will serve as a reminder that the lows can immediately follow.

The scoreline was flipped three days earlier when Celtic lost their Europa League home game to Sparta Prague. That result was a disappointing blow given the strong performance in the Scottish Cup semi-final win against Aberdeen in the previous game.

Celtic started on the front foot at Fir Park and quickly set about their opponents to take the lead in the eighth minute through Mohamed Elyounoussi. The Norwegian doubled the lead midway through the first half and then completed his hat-trick in the second period immediately after Motherwell grabbed a goal back. The game was well and truly put to bed when substitute Oliver Ntcham slotted in Celtic’s fourth.

The performance was an accurate reflection of a Celtic side who have won every piece of domestic silverware for the past four seasons and John Kennedy was delighted to see how the players responded to the disappointment earlier in the week.

“It’s always good to see a good response after a disappointing performance in midweek,” said Kennedy. “Motherwell can be a tough one, a sticky place to go, so we knew it would be difficult but the boys’ attitude was great and a convincing victory in the end.

“You don’t want players to become too emotional after a disappointment and make it worse. We laid it out and reflected on the midweek game and went over what we felt went wrong. We spoke to the players and it to identify the improvements that had to be made and then put it to bed. We had to quickly refocus on the next game because that’s the one you can impact on the most.

“The players knew what they had to do at Motherwell and they went out and did very well. They started well in the game, were on the front foot and very positive. They pressed at the right times and looked dangerous on the attack.

“It’s easy to go into hiding when the pressure’s on and expect someone else to do the job but all the players were out to play their part and do the job.”

Prior to the game against Motherwell, Neil Lennon had stressed the need for the players to meet their own high standards in order for the team to begin playing to its potential and every one of them did that at Fir Park.

Elyounoussi was awarded Man of the Match but Kennedy was pleased with the display from several Celtic players for their contribution.

“Moi’s was excellent and show how intelligent a player he is,” he said. “Once he gets game time with the players around him, he shows what he’s capable of. He’s very clever in terms of understanding the players around him and what he needs to do to link up with them.

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