Neil Lennon will begin to get his players back at Lennoxtown tomorrow after, what for most of the first team, has been a two week international break. For many of the established players, he’ll be hoping for a clean bill of health, but with trips to Tynecastle and Milan ahead, the manager will be keen to spend time with Teemu Pukki.
Teemu played 92 minutes for Finland in Tbilisi last night so will get little time on the training fields before Celtic’s next two games. Tynecastle itself may provide the most effective training opportunity ahead of Wednesday’s game at the San Siro.
Delighted for Gordon Strachan, who has already caused an unlikely upturn in Scotland’s fortunes. He is a better coach and tactician than he ever got credit for. His Key Performance Indicators (winning leagues, knock out stages of the Champions League) were achieved in spades, but there was a soft underbelly which always seemed to undermine progress. Curiously, his Celtic team went 15 months without keeping a clean sheet away from home in all competitions, despite winning the league in both seasons this run spanned.
The one game during this period of note was the 1-0 defeat to Milan in the Champions League knock out stage; the only game Celtic completed 90 minutes without conceding. If Neil Lennon can replicate this achievement he stands an excellent chance of a second successive memorable Champions League campaign.