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Stephen Craigan: Wise call from Neil Lennon to try to keep star names like Scott Brown fresh

Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Stephen Craigan

By Stephen Craigan

Neil Lennon made a sensible decision on Thursday night as Celtic completed their Europa League campaign. He left out his top stars for a dead-rubber match away to Cluj after the effort they put in last Sunday while winning their 10th successive domestic trophy in the Betfred Cup final against Rangers.

Scott Brown, Fraser Forster, Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard were the big names who got a rest after their recent exertions and it was fully merited after that dramatic win against Rangers.

Celtic were overwhelming favourites ahead of the Cup final but for long spells were under the cosh and had to rely on an inspired performance from goalkeeper Forster to seal the trophy.

After Jeremie Frimpong was sent off in the second half, Celtic as a team showed a resilience that isn't very often required in domestic football.

They stemmed the flow of Rangers, dug deep into their reserves and the 10 men showed that the Hoops have different ways of winning major trophies.

That in itself is a concern for Rangers.

The players showed how much it meant to them to win again and the characteristics displayed in adversity will please Lennon no end.

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With the hectic schedule in December, Lennon will hope that his decision to rest his top players against Cluj will make the difference.

Celtic have more games, due to fixture rescheduling, than Rangers before both meet at Celtic Park on December 29.

It's all building up nicely and Celtic could potentially be five points ahead going into that one.

Belfast Telegraph

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