Celtic boss Neil Lennon says Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio has shown 'character'
Lennon hopeful Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths will be fit for Kilmarnock match on Sunday
By Dan Sansom
Last Updated: 20/09/19 2:47pm
Celtic boss Neil Lennon says Angelo Alessio has shown "character" after a "difficult start" to life as Kilmarnock manager.
Assistant to Antonio Conte at Italy, Juventus and Chelsea, the Italian had an unconvincing start to his managerial career at Rugby Park after taking over from Steve Clarke.
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After an embarrassing Europa League qualifying defeat to Welsh side Connah's Quay Nomads, Alessio's side picked up just one point from their first three league matches.
However, wins over St Johnstone and Hibernian in their last two league games have eased the pressure ahead of their trip to Parkhead on Sunday, and Lennon believes the way Alessio has bounced back has been impressive.
"It was a difficult start for him," the Celtic boss said. "Obviously he is trying to get his own techniques, ideas or practices across to the players but now you can see they are starting to take shape.
"They have had a couple of great results of late and I think that takes a bit of character from the coach.
"I haven't seen too much of Kilmarnock, obviously Greg (Taylor, new signing from Kilmarnock) is here and he can give me a full run-down tomorrow of what to expect, but they have had a fantastic couple of seasons and I am sure Angelo will be looking to maintain that.
"Billy Bowie (Kilmarnock's majority shareholder) is quite a shrewd guy. He has done great things there. Obviously getting Steve up here was a coup and this could be another one for him.
"Only time will tell but he obviously has great coaching experience of the game and I am looking forward to locking horns with him on Sunday."
Lennon is hopeful that striker Leigh Griffiths, who missed the 1-1 draw against Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday with a dead leg, will be available to face Alessio's side at the weekend.
However, defender Boli Bolingoli is likely to miss the match after picking up a groin strain in France.
The Northern Irishman said: "We are hoping Griffiths will be okay. It was a dead leg, he had it scanned. I haven't got the results yet but it is nothing serious or too prolonged.
"Bolingoli is not too serious, hopefully. He will be a major doubt for the weekend and maybe Partick Thistle with a slight groin strain. Hopefully he will be missing for just one or two games."