Celtic ease through but Lennon remains worried
Raith Rovers 0 Celtic 3:Neil Lennon has more cause than most to fret about this week’s international fixtures. A consequence of Celtic’s multi-national squad is that, on occasions such as the coming days, a batch of players depart to represent their country. Already, Efe Ambrose is featuring for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations.
For Lennon, the spectre of the Champions League last 16, first-leg match against Juventus on February 12th means he will view this particular schedule of fixtures with trepidation. It already seems certain that Celtic will field a shadow team for Saturday’s trip to Inverness, aside from the goalkeeper Fraser Forster who again missed out at Raith Rovers because of a neck problem.
“Is it a worry to have so many players away on international duty? Yes,” Lennon said. “Of all the weeks to have international games – I don’t know who decides or puts these dates in place. We have got the biggest game in four or five years at the club coming and we have players all over the world.”
There was, however, no cause for Celtic anxiety here as they eased into the quarterfinals of the Scottish Cup. Kriss Commons earned and scored the opening goal with a penalty. The visitors scored two late goals through James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew.