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  • Neil Lennon: Celts ready and primed ahead of domestic return

    Neil Lennon: Celts ready and primed ahead of domestic return

    By: Joe Sullivan on 18 Oct, 2019 16:01

  • CELTIC return to action tomorrow (Saturday) following the international break, with the Hoops stars returning from national service fit and raring to go for the visit of Ross County.

    Speaking at Lennoxtown today, Neil Lennon said: “We’re looking forward to this weekend. Everyone’s came back from the international break in good spirits. The only doubt we have is Olivier, who rolled his ankle in training yesterday.

    "So, we’ll have to assess him today and see how he is, but the rest of them came back alright. Elhamed had a bit of a virus in between the two games, but he played in the second game so should be fine for tomorrow.”

    Following a six-game winning start to the SPFL campaign, in their final two league games before the break, the Celts drew with Hibs at Easter Road before losing 2-0 away to Livingston. The aim is to return to winning ways on Saturday, although the Hoops boss said that the demand to win is always there for Celtic.

    He said: “It’s a bit harsh to say the players need to make amends. Things just didn’t go for us. We didn’t play particularly poorly. The sending-off obviously was something that came out of the blue and is totally out of character for Ryan, who’s been outstanding.

    “Then we conceded an early goal in the second half and had to force the issue. We were decent without really creating too many clear-cut chances. The second goal was an error from us.

    “Over the piece, we’ve been brilliant. The facts are, though, that we’ve picked up one point out of the last six available, so we need to rectify that tomorrow.”

    The Celtic team that sets out to do just that against the Highland side will, of course, take to the pitch without Ryan Christie following his red card against Livingston. However, the strength-in-depth of the Celtic squad ensures that there will be no lack of quality and threat in the Hoops side come three o’clock on Saturday afternoon.

    The Irishman said: “Ryan’s been outstanding for us, but Tom Rogic is up to speed, and hopefully we’ve got Ntcham even though he’s a bit of a doubt. But Ryan would be a miss for any team right now the way he’s playing. We’ll have to adjust accordingly.

    “Tom’s a creative type, they’re very similar, and we all know about his pedigree. He’s had his injury lay-off and he’s come back and is in great condition. He would jump at the chance to play if selected, so it’s great having that luxury when you lose a quality player and can bring another one in.

    “We play Saturday and then the European game isn’t until Thursday, so that’s plenty of time in between. The players want to play and Lazio is a huge game for us in the context of the group, so we want to be as strong as possible.”

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