Aitken elated with Celticís top spot in Scottish league

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Old 30-Dec-2011
Aitken elated with Celticís top spot in Scottish league

Dubai: Former Celtic captain Roy Aitken believes his former club finally have the edge in the Scottish Premier League title race after Wednesday night's 1-0 Old Firm derby win saw them leapfrog bitter rivals Rangers at the top of the table.
Having been 15 points behind the Gers only as far back as November 5, Joe Ledley's 52nd-minute header completed a ninth consecutive win for Neil Lennon's side to put them into the driving seat at the halfway mark.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Sixth Dubai International Sports Conference yesterday, Aitken, 53, who holds an advisory post at Al Ahli Club after representing Celtic from 1976 to 1990, said: "It's an amazing turnaround when you think about it. Two months ago they were 15 points behind, but Neil Lennon has managed to galvanise a team and has won nine in a row.
"Those 27 points are massive just at a time when Rangers' form has dipped. Celtic has come good over the festive period, which is always an important stage.
"It puts them right back in pole position. There's still a long way to go ó it's too early to say the league is won, as there are another two Old Firm matches before the end of the season.
"But with that sort of momentum Celtic are definitely the favourites. Both teams have been losing points to smaller teams, not so much Celtic recently but Rangers have lost points to lesser teams, which is not normal.
"From that point of view Celtic have definitely got momentum going, probably as a result of confidence from their performances in Europe. Albeit they haven't qualified [in the UEFA Europa League], reasonable performances have probably helped confidence and form.
"Celtic look a bit more solid and have that pole position. To have come from so far behind I can only see them going from strength to strength."
Aitken stopped short of criticising Rangers coach Ally McCoist, however, when asked if the inexperienced manager was at fault for the collapse. Aitken said: "That's not for me to say. Ally is learning all the time about the job and he knows what it's like to win things both as a player and a coach. He is well experienced, it's the same with Neil Lennon. They are both young managers making their way in the game.
"It's interesting viewing, you can't say who's going to take the championship. Rangers have some off the field issues as well which is affecting things overall. But it's wide open. Celtic has momentum and that could well be the thing that pulls them through."

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