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Celtic V Inverness CT at Celtic Park : Match Preview

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23 Aug 2013 16:31:26

Celtic V Inverness CT at Celtic Park : Match Preview

Celtic V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


No pay increase for Lennon

Neil Lennon has signed a new contract as Celtic manager but without receiving a wage increase.


One report on Friday morning claimed the former Hoops skipper was to be rewarded with a "bumper" new deal as reward by the Celtic board for leading his side to two Scottish Premier League titles and the last-16 of the Champions League.


However, Lennon, who revealed that forwards Georgios Samaras (toe), James Forrest (sciatica), Derk Boerrigter (ankle), Anthony Stokes (calf) and Kris Commons (groin) are all very doubtful for the visit of Inverness in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday, said: "It is a new contract but there is no change in the remuneration and there is no change in the way the deal is, in terms of length.


"It is still a one-year rolling contract, it is just there is a few legal stipulations and conditions that I wanted tweaked a little bit. The club have agreed to do that and I signed it this morning.


"Unfortunately for me, it is not a bumper contract as was reported but it is nice thinking that way.


"The rolling contract works for both parties, that is the way it was for Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan and I am no different.


"There are other stipulations in the contract that I have agreed to but in terms of remuneration it is the same as it was."


The Northern Irishman admitted the injury crisis among his forwards has come at a bad time as the Scottish champions look to rescue their Champions League hopes against Shakhter Karagandy next Wednesday night.


Celtic trail 2-0 from Tuesday's first-leg play-off at the Astana Arena in Kazakhstan.


And while Lennon stressed the importance of the visit of Caley, defeat against Terry Butcher's side would be far less damaging to the Parkhead club's season than failing to get past the unfancied Kazakh champions and into the group stages of the Champions League for the second successive season.


The Hoops manager is still looking to add to his squad but no new signing would be eligible for the second-leg of the play-off.


He also revealed that Forrest is to see a neurologist in a bid to resolve his long-standing injury problem.


"They are all very doubtful, they are receiving treatment today and we won't make a decision on it until tomorrow morning," said Lennon.


"James Forrest has a sciatica problem which is a concern for us.


"He is dragging his leg a bit now and it is definitely holding him back a little bit.


"He is going to see a neurologist and we are going to try to get to the bottom of it because the kid has been plagued with injuries for the last eight to 10 months.


"It is a real shame because he is such a magnificent player and when he is in full flow he is such an asset for us.


"Sammi is a toe injury, Boerrigter is still the ankle problem he picked up against Ross County, Stokes is a calf and Commons is a groin problem.


"They are serious doubts. I am not interested in giving them a rest, they are genuine injury concerns and it is not a great time for us, with this game and obviously a huge game on Wednesday.


"Both games are important, we started well in the league and we want to maintain that.


"We have (Amido) Balde and (Tony) Watt and (Tom) Rogic, so there is a chance for players who are itching to play, to take their opportunity and put themselves forward for a place on Wednesday."


Meanwhile, Inverness midfielder James Vincent feels the spirit and confidence at the club can help them upset the odds at Celtic Park.


The former Stockport and Kidderminster player said: "It's something you look forward to when you come up here, playing at such a good ground and against good players.


"We feel confident going into the game - we feel we can get something out of it.


"Everyone is happy and everyone knows their role. We are knocking the ball about and playing good football and I think we will all step up for the match.


"From day one since I came here, there has been a good spirit.


"We all want to win, we all believe we can win, and we all believe in each other.


"So I think that's going to put us in good stead."


Defender Gary Warren has a hand injury but it will not prevent him taking to the field.



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