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  • Oh My Days: Birthday Bhoy Jeremie Frimpong hailed by manager

    Oh My Days: Birthday Bhoy Jeremie Frimpong hailed by manager

    By: Joe Sullivan on 10 Dec, 2019 11:27

  • IT’S not a bad return for your first steps in senior football – eight starts, one substitute appearance, one goal and you already have a winner’s medal in your pocket, and all before your 19th birthday!

    Yes, Jeremie Frimpong has managed to squeeze all that into a whirlwind start to his first-team career and the most important highlight of all, the gleaming medal won in Sunday’s 1-0 League Cup final win over Rangers at the National Stadium, came just days before the youngster got into extra celebration mode as his 19th birthday is today, December 10.

    Of course, it could all have turned out so differently for the Dutch youngster and instead of teenage kicks, he could have been kicking himself every morning since Sunday after conceding a penalty and getting his marching orders soon after Celtic took the lead.

    We all know that Fraser Forster saved the spot-kick and nobody cheered more loudly than Frimpong himself as the 10-man Celts refocused and went on to win their 10th successive trophy.

    Someone else who cheered the save rather loudly was Neil Lennon, and the manager has nothing but praise for the youngster's input to the game.

    The Irishman said of Frimpong: “I thought he was outstanding. I thought he was unlucky. It was a penalty and I get the red card decision as well. He was obviously really upset coming off, but these things happen sometimes and he has nothing to reproach himself for.

    “For a player of that age and so early in his career to play like that in a cup final, he was arguably our best player in the first half.

    “He set a real standard for the rest of the team, him and Christopher Ajer. I thought Ajer was brilliant, and then obviously Fraser as well, but Frimpong - he’s a top, top player and you can see his mentality as well. He doesn’t seem to fear anything.”

    Unfortunately, Frimpong will be unavailable for Celtic’s UEFA Europa League Group E meeting with CFR Cluj, but the manager is considering a few changes for the game as his side have already qualified for the next stage of the tournament.

    Neil Lennon said of the League Cup victory: “It’s a massive shot in the arm for us. We’ve got one trophy in the cabinet already and that's brilliant for us to refocus our sights on other matters.

    “Odsonne Edouard was a little bit ginger on Saturday and came to me and said he didn’t think he could start, but I think he’s fine. We’ve just got to be careful with him in terms of the Cluj game and we’ll maybe just set our sights on him for Hibs next week.

    “There are players here who want game-time, some of them will need it and it’s a chance to give some of them a rest as well. It will be good for some of them to get a rest as some have played a lot of games, international games and I don’t need to take the risk of them getting injured either.

    “I don’t need to do that which, again is a nice position to be in. Leigh Griffiths will be involved. We were going to start with Odsonne (at Hampden) and Leigh would have been on the bench. However, when Odsonne couldn’t start, we decided to go with Lewis Morgan to start and bring Odsonne on.

    “So we couldn’t put Leigh on the bench then. It’s nothing to do with fitness levels or anything like that.”

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