Celtic manager Neil Lennon has admitted he has purposely rotated the team in recent matches in preparation for this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen, as reported by The Daily Mail.
A win against St Mirren last Wednesday night was followed up with a disappointing draw at home to Livingston on Saturday, but the manager has insisted the lack of continuity in team selection and tactical consistency has been a necessary evil.
Players like Olivier Ntcham, Tom Rogic, Ryan Christie and Filip Benkovic are now all well placed to be fit for selection for the upcoming Hampden clash against the Dons.
As quoted by The Daily Mail, the Hoops boss said:
I was looking for the likes of Rogic, Christie, Benkovic to get game time.
We have rotated the squad a lot this week, we made four changes the other night, more changes today and changed formation as well just to freshen things up.
The likes of (Olivier) Ntcham had a long time out and he’s played two games, we had Jozo (Simunovic) coming back as well.
It’s been difficult to get continuity in team selection but three games in six days has been a big ask for the players. I had to make a few changes for the benefit of the long term.
It will be good to have a couple of days off to rest and recover and then focus on the semi-final.
Fans were frustrated with the quality of performance against Livingston, our second 0-0 draw at home in three matches at Celtic Park.
It wasn’t the best for Lennon if he’s hoping to take charge permanently at the end of the season, but ultimately he will be judged on matches like the upcoming Scottish Cup clash, not matches against Livi.
If he considers getting the squad up to full fitness for the Hampden clash as more important right now then I’d have to agree.
The league is as good as won and Aberdeen are the major hurdling block between ourselves and a treble.
What starting eleven would you go for against Aberdeen this weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments below…