‘Craig Gordon can play for Scotland even if he’s not playing for Celtic’ - Neil Lennon

A widespread conclusion has been drawn from Craig Gordon’s failure to be granted a move away from Celtic in the transfer window. With the 37-year-old condemned to the bench for his club these past six months, it has been taken as read that the keeper now has no prospect of fulfilling his ambition to represent Scotland in a major finals.

Celtic vetoed Craig Gordon's hopes of a January move. Picture: Bill Murray / SNS
Celtic vetoed Craig Gordon's hopes of a January move. Picture: Bill Murray / SNS

Neil Lennon, though, would dispute this. The Celtic manager believes the 54-times capped Gordon could be parachuted straight into the international set-up at any point – despite having made only one start at club level since late September thanks to the on-loan arrival of Fraser Forster. With Steve Clarke’s first choice keeper David Marshall currently out of the Wigan side, the national coach has a big decision to make.

“Craig Gordon is certainly good enough to be in the Scotland squad even if he’s not playing for us every week – that would be my opinion,” said Lennon.

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“I see him every day and he’s an outstanding trainer and an outstanding professional so whether he’s playing regularly or not, he’s still more than good enough to be in the Scotland squad.”

Lennon concedes that he understood Gordon’s desire to leave Celtic Park in the search of game time – with Hearts mooted as an option – but that was never a goer with Celtic’s other keeper, Scott Bain, still experiencing issues with a thumb he fractured in August.

“It is [an awkward decision]. From the club’s point of view we didn’t want to let him go, but from a human side I can totally understand where he’s coming from. But he’s training great, he looks great, it’s just that Fraser is our No.1 choice right now.”