SPL: O'Neill would take title 'sitting in his armchair'

Martin O'Neill insists he does not care how Celtic win the title, even if it by virtue of a Rangers defeat.

Martin O'Neill insists he does not care how Celtic win the title, even if it by virtue of a Rangers defeat.

If the Bhoys beat Motherwell at Fir Park and nearest challengers Rangers lose to Kilmarnock on Wednesday evening then the Scottish Premier League championship trophy will remain in the Parkhead cabinet.

But O'Neill insisted: "It won't bother me one jot because we have tried to win the title as soon as possible over the 38 games. If you told me I'd win the championship sitting in the armchair then I would take it."

His team, however, still have to beat Motherwell - but at least he can now see the finishing line.

O'Neill said: "We would move step closer with a win on Tuesday night - we would be within touching distance of the championship.

"It is a big game for us and all the matches with them are always difficult. But I don't have to say anything to the players to get them going - they know what they have to do and they are ready."

O'Neill has a doubt over Neil Lennon (knee), but he looks set to welcome John Hartson and Bobo Balde back from suspension.

Motherwell have been hit by a double blow with skipper Scott Leitch and striker Dirk Lehmann being ruled out for the season.

Leitch (knee) missed the weekend defeat at Dundee and Lehmann has strained his ankle ligaments.

But Keith Lasley will be given treatment during the day before a late decision is taken on his fitness.

Boss Eric Black said: "This is a big blow for us because Dirk has been doing well for us and Scott as well.

"But the Celtic game presents a great opportunity for our guys to go out and show the level they can perform at.

"We have had some reasonable results at home - we've had a few indifferent ones as well - and the lads seem more comfortable at home.

"But against Celtic it doesn't really matter where you play them as they are so far ahead in terms of player quality. I don't expect anything less than an extremely motivated Celtic side.

"Right through the season they've looked a real hungry outfit who are determined to hold onto the championship and with the title getting within touching distance, that will make them even hungrier, if that's possible."

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