Midday Celtic game too soon after international call-ups, says Lennon

 

Neil Lennon is not happy that his Celtic side have to travel to Aberdeen for a lunchtime kick-off at the end of a week in which his international players have been scattered all over the world.

The Hoops' march to the Scottish Premier League title resumes at Pittodrie today, but Lennon will almost certainly be without the South Korea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, the Honduras left-back Emilio Izaguirre and Mexico's Efrain Juarez, who had all still not returned when Lennon delivered his lunchtime media conference yesterday.

With Lennon's men 20 points ahead of Rangers, there is less pressure on Celtic than in previous years. But the Northern Irishman, at Parkhead yesterday to pick up his manager of the month award for February, made sure the relevant people were aware of his gripe.

"With the international boys being away, the amount of travelling they have done and the fact that it's a 12 o'clock kick-off in Aberdeen, which I am really not happy about, there will be a few changes from last week for tomorrow's game," said Lennon, who is again likely to be without his captain, Scott Brown, because of a groin injury.

"The majority are back but I haven't seen Efrain Juarez or Emilio, they are still making their way back and will be very doubtful for tomorrow. Ki Sung-yueng is still making his way back or else he might still be in South Korea.

"I am all for internationals and all for friendlies. My beef is with the scheduling of this game tomorrow.

"If it had been at three o'clock or on Sunday, it might have bought us a bit more time to get the players back and have ample time for them to recover.

"As things stand, it is impossible for some of them to do that with the amount of travelling they have had. Again, it is also difficult for our supporters to get up there for 12 o'clock. The most important people in football at the minute – the players and fans – they are going to suffer the most. But I don't do the scheduling and we have to get on with it the best we can."

Celtic are looking for their 15th consecutive win after six clean sheets last month helped Lennon to his award.

"It means a helluva lot but it is just down to the players, who have performed magnificently and the consistency has been fantastic," said former Celtic captain Lennon.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend