CELTIC manager Neil Lennon says he has “a sweat on” over the fitness of new £2m signing Derk Boerrigter for Wednesday’s Champions League third-round-qualifier return leg away to Elfsborg after the Dutch winger’s debut ended after only half an hour.
Lennon also has concerns over Georgios Samaras’s involvement in the tie Celtic are leading 1-0 after he missed the opening-day 2-1 victory over Ross County in the new Premiership with a toe complaint. It was feared Samaras may have had a fracture in the area but scans showed that was not the case. “It is still very tender,” said Lennon, who expects to have defender Kelvin Wilson available after he missed out yesterday with shin splints.
The Celtic manager delighted in the build-up play from his side that he declared the best in some time and credited the improvement to the winger he acquired from Ajax. “You saw what Derk brings to the team, that pace and balance on the left,” he said. “He was a real threat coming off the line well, while Jamesy [Forrest] was doing well on the right.”
The 26-year-old Boerrigter ’s input was lost when the player “jarred” his ankle as he attempted to get on to the end of a cross under pressure from Mihael Kovacevic.
“It was a total accident, he just nicked Kovacevic’s Achilles and it has twisted so we will have to see how he is.”
Ross County manager Derek Adams refused to be downhearted at the late loss on a evening when he fielded six new faces and was rewarded with a smoking strike less than three minutes in from Dutch debutant Darren Maatsen, who admitted he had never hit the ball as well as he did for the superb opening goal.
“Overall, I am not too disappointed, I would have taken a 2-1 defeat at the start of the game,” Adams said. “It is the hardest fixture of the season, Celtic are a very good side, a multi-million side, and our season starts next week.
“We are happy that we have not disgraced ourselves.”