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By ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2011

Lennon happy to be back at pitch level

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is relishing a return to the Hampden technical area following the end of his touchline ban.

Lennon will be at trackside when Celtic face Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Sunday after returning to the dugout in Tuesday's 1-0 victory at St Johnstone. Lennon missed a total of five matches after being hit with two separate punishments from the Scottish Football Association.

The ban included the Co-operative Insurance Cup final against Rangers when Lennon sat in the Hampden stand as his side lost 2-1 in extra-time, so he is delighted to be closer to the action as Celtic return to the national stadium.

Lennon told the Huddle Online: "I really enjoyed being back in the dugout the other night. I felt good, I felt fresh and it felt important to be with the players at that level."

Gary Hooper was also on the sidelines at McDiarmid Park after a dead leg ruled him out as Celtic maintained their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League, but the striker is set to return against Aberdeen as he looks to finish the season with a flourish.

Hooper was named on the shortlist for both PFA Scotland annual awards on Thursday and he is targeting collective and personal glory in the coming weeks.

The 23-year-old said: "The main thing is winning trophies, then I would like to win both awards and hopefully go for top scorer as well. I came up here to score goals. I've been doing that and the whole team are playing well and scoring goals as well. It's been a good season for me and Celtic and hopefully we can finish it off."

Hooper has scored 15 SPL goals, six fewer than Kenny Miller netted before the Scotland forward left Rangers for Bursaspor in January.

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