NEIL LENNON will have to shuffle the pack for the first of the two meetings with Hearts on Sunday. It’s Trophy Day at Celtic Park – you know, the day when the Champions pick up the prize and as usual that’s an event reserved for the East End of Glasgow, despite the events at Ibrox on Sunday in the Dead Rubber.
Mikael Lustig was injured in the closing stages at Pittodrie. Quite why it was felt that there was a need to rush him back to play in the Dead Rubber is something of a mystery. But the foolishness of this was apparent by the time he had to go off with the same hamstring problem, having been largely responsible for conceding the opening goal.
Lustig, whose future at the club continues to remain uncertain, is now out for Trophy Day and a major doubt for the more important game the next week at Hampden – the Scottish Cup Final.
You get to the Scottish Cup Final if you go through the various rounds, including the quarter final and any replay, without getting gubbed and that unlike some, that’s something that Celtic have managed very well in recent seasons.
That’s really down to Neil Lennon this time around and should Celtic triumph at the national stadium to win the Scottish Cup for the third time in a row – something Celtic have never done before – then the interim manager will deserve all the praise that is going.
What a job that he has done shoring up things after Rodgers walked out on Celtic so suddenly at the end of February. Okay he lost the Dead Rudder where all the problems that we have with the squad came into focus – but those blaming Lenny for that should maybe stop for a minute and ask who allowed the squad to get to this stage – and the answer is NOT Neil Lennon. Blame Rodgers and Peter Lawwell.
Yet even having done the interim job successfully it looks increasingly like Neil Lennon will carry the can for the various woes that the support has and will NOT be appointed as the next Celtic manager.
The problems for the final two games are mounting up, Odsonne Edouard is now a doubt according to reports this morning. The Daily Record are claiming that he suffered an ankle knock at Ibrox but couldn’t come off as the three substitutions had already been made. He is now a doubt for Hampden.
Jonny Hayes also has a hamstring problem, Kieran Tierney is managing his double hernia and thankfully was not played at Ibrox and Player of the Year James Forrest needs to recover from his calf injury if he is to feature.
On the new injuries to Edouard, Lustig and Hayes the Record is reporting this which is apparently from a Celtic source.
“There’s a bit of concern over all three of them right now which is hardly ideal with the cup final less than a fortnight away.
“Odsonne’s ankle injury is particularly worrying given the lack of options in attack but the hope is that he’ll be patched up and able to take part.”
Lenny will be without Timo Weah, who rejected the chance to take part in the Scottish Cup Final, preferring to stay with the United States Under 20s as they prepare for their World Cup event in Poland.