Celtic Park

Next Game

Celtic v UMF Stjarnan

Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 19:45

Champions League Qualifying Second Round

Lennon: Fresh squad is key

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says it is worth "sacrificing" some of his side's remaining league games for the long-term health of his players.

Last Updated: 01/05/13 at 18:46 Post Comment

Neil Lennon (centre): Wants players to be given proper rest

Neil Lennon (centre): Wants players to be given proper rest

With the Scottish Premier League title already won, Lennon rested the likes of Efe Ambrose, Kris Commons and Joe Ledley for Sunday's 3-1 defeat to second-placed Motherwell.

And the Hoops boss has revealed that goalkeeper Fraser Forster, defenders Emilio Izaguirre and Charlie Mulgrew and forwards Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras will sit out this Sunday's trip to Ross County.

Celtic have the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian to come on 26 May and an early start to next season with the UEFA Champions League qualifiers scheduled for mid-July and Lennon believes he is correct to prioritise the future, even if it means losing league matches.

"Charlie, Sammy, Gary, Emilio and Fraser will all be getting a break as they won't be getting an opportunity later on and we feel this is the best thing to do for them come the start of pre-season," he told Celtic View.

"Of course Ross County will be a difficult game - they all are - but I have to think about going ahead, moving on.

"I have to think about the lack of rest they are going to get come the summer, so all these things come into our thinking.

"It's been a long hard season for the players and there will be another long, hard schedule for them next season, with the qualifiers coming round so early.

"We are sacrificing a couple of games now with forward planning, one, for the cup final and, two, for close season and pre-season.

"We are the champions and must not forget that. The league is done and dusted. You don't like losing games but we have to give the squad players an opportunity now that the main games are over.

"I want to play some of them and give them some game time and rest the guys who have played a lot of games.

"There are squad places up for grabs in the cup final and it's healthy to have this competition."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is all good fun, but anyone who thinks United are 4th best in England for anything more than a blip is properly f***ing mental. And Domenech is properly f***ing mental.

megabrow (cufc)
Schneiderlin must join United - Domenech

I

f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

jelasfirsttouch
The Twosome Gossip

I

s this Chris Smalling playing the 'Race' card?

hump3.
Smalling wants United race

Footer 365

Sterling asks to be left out of Liverpool tour

Raheem Sterling has asked to be left out of Liverpool's squad for their pre-season tour as he seeks to force a move to Manchester City.

Roberto Firmino eyeing trophy success at Liverpool after saying bye to Hoffenheim

Liverpool's £29m summer signing Roberto Firmino hopes to celebrate "a lot of success" at Anfield and 'can't wait test himself in the Premier League'.

Manchester United 'agree Matteo Darmian fee with Torino'

Manchester United have agreed a fee with Torino for Italy right-back Matteo Darmian, according to Sky Italia sources.

Mail Box

Doesn't Delph To Arsenal Make More Sense?

We have reaction to our Top Ten regarding Philipp Lahm and Dave Mackay, why we all love Harry Kane, Fabian Delph to Arsenal and what United can get away with...

Why Is Kane More Likeable Than Carrick?

A Mailbox which covers topics including Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Robin van Persie, handballs, transfer reporting and Rodgers bingo. It's not us being mean...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company