MX23RW : Thursday, January 23 00:44:15| >> :600:3500842:3500842:
Dec 15, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Celtic Park (Glasgow)
Attendance: 57,598
Celtic
2-0
Hibernian
Frimpong (39'), Edouard (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Neil Lennon hopeful rested legs will help Celtic against Hibernian

Neil Lennon hopeful rested legs will help Celtic against Hibernian
© Reuters
The Hoops had already won their Europa League group to secure a last-32 spot before the before the trip to Romania.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is hoping his decision to field a makeshift side against Cluj on Thursday night will pay dividends against Hibernian on Sunday.

The Hoops had already won their Europa League group to secure a last-32 spot before the before the trip to Romania and the Parkhead boss left a clutch of key players in Glasgow, along with suspended skipper Scott Brown and right-back Jeremie Frimpong who is not registered for European competition.

Lennon made nine changes in total from the side which started the Betfred Cup final win over Rangers at Hampden Park last weekend and lost their first group game through second-half goals from defender Andrei Burca and midfielder Damjan Djokovic.

— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) December 12, 2019

It was the Scottish champions' first defeat in 13 games in all competitions but Lennon was pleased that some players got some rest while others got some game time.

And as he turned his attention to the Ladbrokes Premiership match against his former club at Parkhead, he said:  "I took that calculated risk If you want to call that on Thursday because I have to think about the squad as a whole. I can't keep running the players into the ground in pressure games.

"That game had nothing in it other than prestige.

"Hopefully that will work in our favour and come Sunday we will be ready to go.

"They (Hibs) had a great win at the weekend, beating an in-form Aberdeen team.

Jack Ross File Photo
Jack Ross is the man in charge of Hibernian (Adam Davy/PA)

"Jack (Ross, manager) has been a great appointment for them, slowly but surely getting the best out of the players.

"I know the players very well there and they can be a threat.

"It's a game we are looking forward to, we will assess all the players on Friday and get them ready for Sunday."

Olivier Ntcham relished the role as stand-in skipper alongside 18-year-old debutant Scott Robertson in Romania.

He said: "It was the first time I captained the club and I really enjoyed this on my shoulders."

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Tynecastle Stadium
Celtic's Olivier Ntcham has enjoyed being their stand-in skipper (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Ntcham insists that vying for a regular place in a highly-competitive midfield area is making him a better player.

The 23-year-old  Frenchman, who joined Celtic from Manchester City in the summer of 2017, added: "It is a big challenge and that is the game.

"With a lot of midfielders, you have to progress, that is part of the competition.

"I think I am improving and I think you can see that game after game.

"The whole team played quite well. Maybe sometimes we needed to be more clever in front of goal but it was a good game to show the spirit of the team.

"It was also the chance to see some young players and it was quite nice for them to get some game time in the first team."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Neil Lennon

Click here for more stories about Celtic

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Jack Ross pictured in charge of Sunderland in September 2019
Read Next:
Jack Ross hails "terrific" goals after Hibs beat Aberdeen
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Premier League
Championship
Coppa Italia
Australian Open Second Round
12am
Bedene
Gulbis
12am
Sugita
Rublev
12am
Basilashvili
Verdasco
12am
Collins
Putintseva
12am
Mertens
Watson
12am
Swiatek
Suarez Navarro
12am
Pavlyuchenkova
Townsend
12am
Vekic
Cornet
12am
Bellis
Muchova
12am
Diyas
Blinkova
12am
Bencic
Ostapenko
12am
Muguruza
Tomljanovic
2am
Monfils
Karlovic
2am
Medvedev
Martinez
2am
Sorribes Tormo
Kontaveit
2am
Rodionova
Bertens
2am
Siegemund
Pliskova
3am
Gerasimov
Zverev
3.30am
Fritz
Anderson
4am
Munar
Popyrin
4am
Goffin
Herbert
4am
Bolt
Thiem
4.30am
Hon
Kerber
5am
Kuznetsova
Giorgi
5.45am
Kyrgios
Simon
6am
Isner
Tabilo
6am
Gojowczyk
Carreno Busta
7am
Ymer
Khachanov
8am
Seppi
Wawrinka
8am
Dart
Halep
10am
Nadal
Delbonis
10.30am
Svitolina
Davis
Coupe de la Ligue
Copa del Rey
Scottish Premiership
Greek Superleague
Copa Libertadores
AFC Champions League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22211052143864
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2381053430434
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!