Celtic: Neil Lennon unhappy Ryan Christie wasn’t rested by Scotland

Ryan Christie opening the scoring against Serbia before Scotland progress to Euro 2020 on penalties
Ryan Christie opening the scoring against Serbia before Scotland progress to Euro 2020 on penalties

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he wasn’t pleased that Ryan Christie played all three recent Scotland games.

While admitting the forward and other internationals have returned in buoyant mood, Lennon wanted Christie to be rested for some of the triple-header.

The 25-year-old scored in the Euro 2020 play-off win over Serbia then was one of three players who also started the defeats to Slovakia and Israel.

“It was three 90 minutes in six days, a big ask for anyone,” said Lennon.

“I think Steve Clarke tried to balance the squad as best he could, but it looked like he didn’t want to play without Ryan.

“I can’t be over-critical of it, but we would have liked him to miss some of the games. He didn’t rest Ryan and that didn’t please me.

“They look okay. There might be a kick-in effect later down the line but they are fit and available to play.

“Ryan is important to me and my squad. He’s been up and down with his consistency, like many others, and I’m hoping now we’ll see a rich vein of form from him.”

Odsonne Edouard was also prominent for his national side, becoming France Under-21s’ all-time joint top scorer on 15 goals with a double against Switzerland that helped secure qualification for Euro 2021.

The 22-year-old has failed to score in his last five Celtic matches after suffering from Covid-19 amid a sluggish start to the season.

“It’s a great milestone for him and something he should be very proud of,” said Lennon.

“It was great to see him fresh and looking strong. Hopefully it puts him in a good frame of mind for the games coming up.”

Lennon, whose side are away to Hibernian on Saturday, expects French centre-back Christopher Jullien to return next week from the back injury that has sidelined him for 10 weeks.

“He has just started training the last few days. He is feeling good but tomorrow is probably too soon for him.”

BBC News