NEIL Lennon has challenged his Celtic players to transfer their domestic dominance to Europe – by beating Lazio in Italy on Thursday night and qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League.

Lennon’s men won their 30th consecutive cup tie when they defeated Hibernian 5-2 in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden on Saturday night.

But the Northern Irishman, whose side will take on Rangers in the final next month, wants them to reproduce that performance in their Group E match in Rome and reach the knockout rounds.

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“I think they got a huge shot in the arm from beating Lazio confidence-wise and belief-wise,” he said. “We have seven points in the group and that’s a fantastic start for us.

“We don’t just want to settle for domestic dominance, we want to really make inroads into Europe as well. But we know how big a challenge that is.

“I do emphasise it to them, a little bit more. Without taking our eye off the ball with what we want to do here in Scotland which is pretty important.

“But to keep enhancing the club’s reputation and their own reputation, it’s important that we make a fist of it in Europe. They have done that. So far."

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Lennon added: “It’s a chance, it’s a challenge. Do we believe we can win the game? Yeah, but we know how difficult it’s going to be. We also think we can get beaten.

“We have had a good look at Lazio, they’re a great side, it was a great game to come out of the other side or it, but we did have tough moments and that will be the case on Thursday.

“They had a couple of great wins in Serie A recently against Torino and a great win at Fiorentina so they’re a class side. But we’re looking forward to it. The players have earned the right.

“We know if we win or get a positive result we can take another huge step towards qualification.”

Meanwhile, Lennon has backed Jonny Hayes or Greg Taylor to cope with playing at left back against Lazio if Boli Bolingoli, who picked up a hamstring injury against Hibs, is ruled out of the Stadio Olimpico match.

"I wouldn’t have any concerns," he said. "We need to see how Boli is, but Jonny has done well. We’ve also got Greg Taylor as well, so there are ready-made replacements if needed."