NEIL Lennon believes Kris Commons is on course to secure a status as one of Celtic’s greatest players of the modern era after watching him play a pivotal role in their 4-0 win at St Mirren yesterday.
Commons, signed by Lennon for a bargain fee of £300,000 from Derby County three years ago, has proved an exceptional acquisition. The 29-year-old netted twice in Paisley, taking his goals tally for the club to 51 in 129 appearances, as Celtic maintained their unbeaten record in the Scottish Premiership this season.
Lennon, who confirmed Celtic will take up an option to extend Commons’ contract when it expires this summer, was fulsome in his praise of the attacking midfielder and likened him to one of Celtic’s most popular and talented players.
“I make comparisons with Lubo Moravcik,” said Lennon. “I know Lubo was a magician and Kris is a little bit more direct but he is dynamite with both feet.
“He is intelligent, his movement is very good and he is probably our best player – as Lubo was back in the day. He probably doesn’t have the natural skills Lubo had but he is certainly more of a goal threat than Lubo was.
“It’s all about making the most of your time here and leaving a legacy behind. At the minute, Kris is writing a very good legacy for when he does retire. We have an option on Kris’ contract and it’s safe to say we will be taking it up. His goal return for us is fantastic and it would be interesting to see how many assists he’s had also. He is a player who I believe will get even better because there are aspects of his game he can work on.
“When you get towards 30 as a player, the penny drops, but his goal return this season has been good and he’s so important for us. He’s got three, four, five years good years still in him and he’s getting better.
“His vision is fantastic and the chip which hit the post in the first half today would have been a contender for goal of the season.”
Elsewhere, Hibernian manager Terry Butcher felt tiredness took its toll after his side threw away a two-goal lead in their Scottish Premiership match with Dundee United at Tannadice.
The Easter Road side looked all set for the win after Liam Craig’s double until United’s spirited comeback, which culminated in Brian Graham’s last-minute equaliser.
Butcher’s side had been on course to chalk up their fourth consecutive league win, having defeated local rivals Hearts three days ago, but appeared to run out of steam late on as the match ended 2-2.
“I thought we were good for the three points,” Butcher said. “For 75 minutes we played very well. Dundee United weren’t in it at all but I just thought that the last 15 minutes took its toll on my players. They put so much effort in the Edinburgh derby win over Hearts so there was some tiredness.
“United had 24 hours’ extra rest and when you win a derby it’s a big thing mentally and physically. We tried to get over that game as quickly as possible and I thought we had done that.
“United had nothing to lose and they just bombed balls forward into the box. It was unlike us to lose two goals like that.
“It was disappointing not to deal with crosses into the box and balls up the park like that.”
Aberdeen moved up to second in the Premiership with a 1-0 win at Kilmarnock, while Hearts fell 19 points adrift at the foot of the table after losing 2-0 at home to Partick Thistle.