Sports Digest: Injuries still concern Celtic’s Neil Lennon
Jim McGuinness’s revenge after All-Ireland win, GAA shorts and soccer shorts
Celtic got back to winning ways in the Scottish League with a 2-0 victory at home to Dundee as attention turns to next week’s Champions League clash with Aiden McGeady’s Spartak Moscow.
Manager Neil Lennon, who was in Dublinfor the All-Ireland football final on Sunday, is hopeful that Scott Brown and Anthony Stokes will be fit to face the Russians in Moscow.
Brown continued his recovery from a hip injury in the win on Saturday, but Lennon left him of the squad for Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Raith Rovers.
The Celticboss wants his captain fit for Europe and for Scotland’s big World Cup matches in October.
“We feel it is an opportunity to give Scott a free week. We should have enough cover. There are a lot of games coming up and he needs rest after three games in a week,” Lennon said.
“We will try to base his program around playing for us, obviously and making sure he is fit for Scotland as well.
“We don’t discourage players playing for their country. Obviously Celtic come first in my priorities but I know Scotland have two big games coming up next month and Scott will want to play in both of them.
“I just hope we can manage him to be able to play in them. He is a fantastic athlete, one of the best I have seen.
“Since I took over he has been a model of consistency. His attitude has been magnificent and his form at the minute comes as no surprise to me.
“He has shown maturity and quality and he has been a real driving force. He has set himself a very high standard. But I think there is more to come, he is only 27 and coming into his peak which is great news for us and Scotland as well.”
Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama scored against Dundee, but Lennon wants his team to turn more of their chances into goals after Brown had a penalty saved by former Celtic ‘keeper Rob Douglas on Saturday.
Lennon admitted, “It is a concern for me. What isn’t a concern is the chances that we are creating, because we are doing that on numerous occasions in games -- but I would like to see us start putting a few more away.
“We lacked a little quality at times in the final third but the build-up play was pretty good and defensively we looked pretty comfortable all afternoon.
“It was a good performance, a clean sheet and three points which is what I wanted. There was a good tempo to the game. We had to wait a wee while for the breakthrough but it was a quality goal from Gary after really good play between him and Scott.
“We got a great second goal in the second half and I felt after that it was one-way traffic and the only disappointment was we didn’t get more goals.”
SLIGO Rovers were held to a scoreless draw by Bray at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night but remain favorites to lift the Airtricity Premier Division crown. Derry City were beaten 2-1 at home by UCD, Bohs drew 1-1 with visitors Cork and Shelbourne won 1-0 at Dundalk . . .
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