NEIL LENNON has confirmed one player he holds in very high regard at Celtic after Brendan Rodgers cast him aside during his spell manager.
The reemergence of Jozo Simunovic under Neil Lennon has been no accident and it’s because when Lennon saw the player up close – he instantly recognised how good he actually was.
Jozo played a big part in the second half of last season under Neil Lennon and has started as his number one defender this term. Even though the player was suspended Neil Lennon admits the Croatian would have sat out Celtic’s win against Motherwell anyway on Saturday because his injury still need to be managed.
Speaking about the player to SunSport, the Celtic manager was full of praise: “Jozo had competition here with Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic and didn’t play a lot but when I came in I thought he looked a good defender who comes up with really important goals as well.
“I didn’t realise just how good until I saw him play — especially alongside Kris Ajer. And the more they played together, the happier I was. Jozo is what you’d call a proper centre-half, but you’ve got to be mindful of his knee issue.
On the issue of missing out at Motherwell, the Celtic manager said it was a bridge too far for the player to play three times in a week.
“His training patterns are constricted and you have to make sure he’s fit to play the games but it’s going to be difficult for him to play three games a week.”
Celtic take on Cluj in the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday with Jozo likely to be reinstated to the side. If Elhamed doesn’t make it back from injury then Jullien will likely keep his place in the side with Ajer going to right back. If Elhamed is fit – then the Celtic manager may bench his £7m man again.