“He was naturally a wee bit rusty so it was very important he got some game-time,” said Lennon.
Kris Commons, too, came through with no ill-effects, although, again, Lennon was pleased that the player, pictured right, tasted some more action ahead of Celtic’s Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday, before being replaced at half-time. “He just needed a little bit more football and obviously I didn’t want him to get injured either,” said Lennon. “He will have an important role to play on Tuesday night.”
Lennon admitted Efe Ambrose is unlikely to start against the Italians. The defender is due to play for Nigeria against Burkina Faso later today in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, with suggestions he is under pressure to return to Nigeria to celebrate in the event of a win.
“I’m not aware of him going back to Nigeria,” said Lennon. “He thinks he will be in Monday evening or the early hours of Tuesday. Having played a huge game and then made a 10-12 hour flight, it’s going to be difficult for me to think he will make a starting position.”
Lennon will make a decision about Georgios Samaras, who is recovering from a hamstring strain, tomorrow.
As for speculation that Juventus might be using training facilities provided by Rangers this week, Lennon said: “I wasn’t aware of that. I’ve no comment to make on Rangers. They can do what they like.”