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JULLIEN HAILS LENNON

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CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN revealed the personal touch from Neil Lennon helped him settle in at Celtic following his £7million transfer from Toulouse last summer.

And the 27-year-old skyscraper French central defender admitted he knew the switch to the champions was the right move thanks to the Hoops boss.

After a slow start while he picked up momentum and match fitness, Jullien became a mainstay of the team that achieved nine in a row with the club 13 points ahead with only eight games to play when the SPFL called a premature halt to the campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The man who scored the Betfred League Cup winner against Rangers at Hampden in December thanked the Irishman for all his encouragement since his arrival in Scotland.

Jullien, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “I need to thank the gaffer so much for the belief he showed in me.

“When he came to see me in France last summer, he spoke to me about his plans.

“He told me he wanted me to be a big part of his team and how important this season was.

“I wasn’t fit to begin with, but when I got in the team, I felt I got stronger and stronger.

“The love he gave to me and the encouragement he gave to me really made me comfortable on the field.

“He is a winner, too. When you look at the trophies he won as a player and manager, it is unbelievable.

“I owe so much to the gaffer for giving me this chance at Celtic last summer.

“He is one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with and has been huge for me.”

FRENCH CONNECTION…Christopher Jullien celebrates with the Celtic fans after his Betfred League Cup winner.

Jullien added: “I remember when I first signed for Celtic that I was amazed at the mental strength of the players.

“I spoke to Callum McGregor and asked: ‘How can you stay at this level of success for so long?’

“To become champions is hard, but to stay champions is even harder. Your opponents come stronger and stronger and you need to increase your own levels.

“What Celtic have done for the last nine years is incredible and I can’t wait for more.

“We are all determined to come back stronger and throw everything at winning the league again.

“We will keep doing that every season and teams are going to have to go hard to stop us. I definitely think we have the quality and mentality to win 10 in a row.

“That is the goal for everyone at the club and we are going to give everything.

“Let’s hope it will be fun for everyone again.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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