Soccer Digest: Humbled McClean no longer a twit, Brady’s move, laws in charge, Lennon’s fury


“It is about coming in and calming things down. Hopefully I can change things for a positive way so we can move forward against some really good sides.

“We’ve said with the chairman that we’ll look at the short-term objectives which is to get the season out of the way and try to get into that third spot at least and maybe try to win the cup on Saturday. Beyond that, let’s wait and see.

“This is going to be new to me as well but the one thing I will be bringing to the football club is experience and knowledge and hopefully it will calm things down for a period and see if we can play good football.”
Lennon’s Fury

Celtic boss Neil Lennon exploded with anger after his team were beaten 2-1 away to St. Johnstone in the Scottish League last weekend.

The result was the worst possible for Lennon before this week’s Champions League clash with Portuguese giants Benfica.

Lennon, who felt his team were denied a certain penalty, fumed, “We had plenty of the ball but didn’t use it. Forrest was poor, Mulgrew was poor on the ball, Wanyama didn’t effect the game the way he can do.

“Players who you expect to play at this level had an off day but I can’t have any more of that. I am not accepting it. They have had a lot of good publicity but they deserve a lot of criticism, as I do as well.

“The only one who looked like he was going to create anything was Commons. He had the bit between the teeth, he was the only bright spark out of the front six today.”

Lennon is also set to fine Thomas Rogne after the defender was quoted complaining about new contract talks with the Parkhead club.

Captain Scott Brown should feature against Benfica after his recent injury while striker Georgios Samaras expects to return in time for the Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow next month.
Soccer Shorts

Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland will play Greece in November and Poland next February with both friendlies to be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin . . .

SLIGO will have to plan without defender Alan Keane for the title run-in after he broke a metatarsal bone in the recent win over Dundalk . . .

IRELAND are to play England in a friendly fixture at Wembley in May next year with a return date in Dublin in November 2014 . . .

DUNDALK will host St. Patrick’s Athletic and Shels will travel to Derry City in the semifinals of the FAI Ford Cup . . .

EVERTON’S Irish midfielder Darron Gibson will be out of action for a month with a thigh strain.