Lennon worried over Brown fitness

Post-match reaction to Celtic's 1-0 victory over Aberdeen.

Last Updated: 04/08/12 at 18:21 Post Comment

Lennon: We looked a bit leggy today

Lennon: We looked a bit leggy today

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Neil Lennon revealed Celtic skipper Scott Brown might take an injection in his hip to get him through Wednesday night's crunch Champions League qualifier in Helsinki.

Brown's injury meant he missed Saturday's 1-0 home win over Aberdeen which got the Hoops' defence of their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title off to a winning start.

The champions struggled until the 79th minute when Dons keeper Jamie Langfield made an horrendous mess of Kris Commons' shot at his near post after the Hoops midfielder had played a short corner with Joe Ledley.

The Celtic boss turned his attention immediately to the second-leg of the third qualifier in Finland where the Parkhead side hope to at least defend their 2-1 lead to take them through to the play-offs and he will look to bring back Brown.

Lennon said: "Scott had a scan on his hip and he has a bit of degeneration in there, on the disc.

"Whether we can get him through Wednesday... we will see how he is on Monday.

"He was very sore yesterday and it's not like Scott. It might mean an injection and hopefully that will calm it down.

"It might need to be seen to down the line but it is not a massive concern for us at the minute.

"It is never a risk when you play Scott but we will work closely with him over the next couple of days and see how he is."

Lennon will have winger James Forrest back from a groin injury while stand-in skipper Georgios Samaras, who came off early in the second-half still suffering from a head knock he had taken early in the game, should be okay.

The Northern Irishman said: "Forrest will be fine. Samaras got a kick to the face today and he felt a big groggy, he wanted to give it 10 minutes after the break.

"He is still feeling dizzy so we will have to see how he is, but he should be okay. Charlie Mulgrew was suspended so he will come back into contention."

Lennon recognised the part Langfield's mistake played in his team's victory but claimed his players were still tired from the first-leg win over HJK Helsinki in midweek.

"We got a bit of luck with the goal but we were in control of the game without being brilliant," said the former Celtic skipper.

"We defended very well when we had to but there was a flatness about us.

"I think the exertions of Wednesday night took their toll and the players were complaining about being a bit leggy.

"And I understand that the opening games of the season can sap your energy. I am just delighted to get the win and a clean sheet. It is a good start for us.

"Once the players find their feet then we will be okay."

Commons, who will try to shrug off a swollen ankle for the trip to Finland, admitted that he had not even aimed at the near post with his low drive which squirmed out of Langfield's hands.

"Our goalkeeper came in and showed me the ball I scored with and said it was like an egg," he said.

"It was just one of those things. I aimed for the back post with pace and I caught it a bit thin and it went in at the near post. But I will take it."

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown refused to blame Langfield directly and would not discuss the possibility of dropping him for next week.

"I am not going to make a decision on that just now but I am not going to condemn," he said. "If you left out every player for making a mistake you would have no team for next week.

"I will never criticise an individual. I am criticising the team for not responding appropriately to the short corner.

"They had clear instructions and switched off momentarily.

"Everyone in the dressing room is disappointed. They were all apologetic afterwards."

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