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Lennon is full of praise for winter break


Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon

NEIL Lennon wants to see the benefits of Celtic's winter break on the park tomorrow against Motherwell.

Celtic were the only SPFL team to take advantage of the one week winter break option with criticism raised when they invoked the break to rest players then announced they would head to Turkey to play two matches.

Tomorrow, third placed Motherwell come to Celtic Park on a six match winning run, with the Hoops having their own incentives following 10 straight domestic wins that have included eight back-to-back cleansheets.

The Turkish trip gave a number of fringe players and youngsters the chance to stake a claim for more action, with Lennon demanding a hungry performance tomorrow when his side resume domestic activities.

"I'm pretty confident that the players are itching to get playing again and that's a good sign," the Celtic boss said. "The winter break is a great idea, I know that the LMA (League Managers Association) in England are looking at.

"For years, it was thought of as a bad idea, but when you see the volume of games we now have it's certainly beneficial first and foremost for the players.



"It breaks the season up a bit, sometimes you can get bogged down, gates tend to drop after Christmas, in the early weeks of January people don't have the money, so sometimes it's good to have a break for the supporters as well.

"The experienced players are refreshed and the younger ones that came in for the games in Turkey did themselves no harm at all. Players like Eoghan O'Connell and Marcus Fraser did themselves a lot of good.

"Those games emphasised what I already knew, that we had a lot of good young players coming through. It's a bit early to put them in for five or six games, what we want to do is bring them on nicely, they are bubbling away and when the time is right, when they mature we'll throw them in."

Celtic signed off from the domestic campaign with a 4-0 win away to St Mirren to extend their unbeaten start to the SPFL season to 20 matches.

With clinching the title virtually a formality, the remainder of the campaign revolves around chasing a number of records as well as preparing for Champions League qualifiers.