Celtic are set to take on Lille this evening in France as they look to get points on the board after a disappointing defeat to Milan on matchday one.
We brought you early team news this morning [Read Here], however, an interesting tidbit from Neil Lennon’s press conference seems to suggest he will rest Tom Rogic this evening in France.
Tom got his first start of the season against Aberdeen on Sunday and was a big influence on the game. The Australian has been very unlucky with knee and ankle injuries as of late and as a precaution, the midfielder was sent to a specialist after the Dons draw.
Neil Lennon confirmed they were delighted by the way Tom’s ankle reacted after the game, however, he has hinted, he would be reluctant to throw him in against Lille this evening.
“That was Tom’s first start (at Pittodrie). It’s not a question of his mindset not wanting to play, he’s had ankle and knee problems. He was at a specialist yesterday (Tuesday) and the specialist was pleased with how the ankle responded after he played 85 minutes at the weekend.” Neil told CelticTV.
“It might be a push to ask him to start three games in a week so soon, but I think he’s a wonderful player. I think he adds just that little bit of difference to the team, that little bit of gall, a little bit of creativity at times. He’s such a smart player and it would be great to get a run of games out of him.
“He played a lot of 90 minutes, for him, under me last season and obviously the season was curtailed when he was in great form. It’s been stop-start again for him with injury and the deal falling through. He’s back fully focussed and hopefully we can keep him fit and active because again he has that ability to create something out of nothing which is what we want and what the fans want.”
Tom was that spark we’ve been missing in midfield, especially during the second half of the Aberdeen game at the weekend. His ball through to McGregor for Celtic’s first was vintage Rogic and he was growing in confidence as the game went on.
The Celtic star could have a big say for the club this season if he can stay fit for the majority of the season. There’s no other player quite like Tom in the Celtic dressing room who can make something out of nothing.