Neil Lennon, according to The Scotsman, has revealed that fitness not form is the reason for Jozo Simunovic being left out of the Scottish Cup victory against St Johnstone at the weekend and potentially not being available to face Livingston at the Toni Macaroni Arena on Wednesday.
The Parkhead gaffer backed the Croatian international to bounce back following his mistake against Copenhagen which led to the opening goal for the Danes and when asked about the centre-half’s current fitness and state of mind, Lennon said:
“The surface would probably work against Jozo. We’ll just have to wait and see how Kris is and take it from there: hopefully, he’ll be all right. He’s going to have a scan on the thigh, but he’s been playing with it for a couple of weeks, so we’re hoping he makes it.”
“Will Jozo bounce back? Absolutely. We got it back to 1-1 against Copenhagen so his mistake didn’t cost us the game. It was the game management in the two minutes after we scored that cost us and we were all culpable for that.”
“I didn’t need to have a chat with him. We spoke this morning, about life in general and he’s in a good place. His knee is not responding quite as we’d like, so he’s a major doubt for Wednesday.”
If Lennon is without both centre-halves it will make his decision on what tactics to employ a lot more straight forward with him unlikely to play both Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed out of their natural positions at a ground where they have failed to score and suffered their only domestic away defeat of the season.
Is Simunovic good enough for Celtic's defence moving forwards?
With every victory Celtic close in on securing the Scottish Premiership title and the Northern Irishman will be keen to get the job done without suffering any further injuries with a comfortable cushion at the top of the table providing some protection for his battle hardened stars.