Fresh injury doubts force Neil Lennon to reshuffle Celtic squad for Ross County after Cup final
Neil Lennon has fresh injury doubts from his Scottish Cup winning squad for tomorrow’s return to league duty against Ross County.
John Hughes has taken over the Staggies who recorded a 2-0 win over Celtic on their last visit to Parkhead in the Betfred Cup. And while there is change in the Dingwall side’s dug-out, Neil Lennon will also make changes to his team on the pitch following Sunday’s quadruple-treble-clinching win over Hearts, on penalties.
The swift turnaround from a gruelling 120 minutes in the Cup, and quickly into a key Premiership fixture is not only a physical challenge for the players, but a mental one too, as the Celtic manager conceded, and one which will have an impact on his team selection for the game, which kicks off at 6pm.
"We will look to freshen things up again because mentally and physically it has taken a lot out of them on Sunday,” Lennon said. “Scott Brown's a major doubt, Shane Duffy’s a bit of a doubt. Not long term, they should be OK for Boxing Day.
"Olivier Ntcham is back training. Elhamed is out on the training pitch so he's not a million miles away.”
From making history with the club, Lennon’s Celtic must now turn attention to overturning a deficit in the SPFL Premiership, 16-points behind leaders Rangers and joint second in the table with Aberdeen.
“You’re hoping a big burden of the pressure is off them and they can play more freely with less anxiety. We need to chip away at winning games and find our consistency. There’s no doubt it’s a fantastic achievement and it’s given them a huge psychological lift,” Lennon added.
“They’ve completed one part of what was required of us and we have to dig deep now to claw back a big deficit but it’s not beyond us. We have to find consistency in performances and the players know that.
“We’ve no problems scoring goals, defensively we need to definitely improve. I don’t think our form’s been as good as it can be. We’ve drawn too many and that needs to be rectified. We need to start winning games. We’ve won another treble so we can park that now and we can fully focus as a group on what lies ahead of us."