St Mirren Park

Next Game

St Mirren v Celtic

Friday, 03 April 2015, 19:45

Scots Prem

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 3 - 0 Dundee U

Saturday, 21 March 2015, 15:00

Scots Prem

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

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila keen on new loan for Jason Denayer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

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