Lennon wants Brown to miss Scots clash

02 November 2012 03:17

Celtic manager Neil Lennon will ask for Scott Brown to be left out of the Scotland squad when it is named next week for the upcoming friendly away to Luxembourg.

The Hoops skipper has been battling an ongoing hip problem this season and played only the first half of the recent World Cup qualifying game against Wales in Cardiff before missing the second match of the double-header against Belgium in Brussels

Brown is in the squad for the clash with Dundee United at Tannadice, but Lennon wants him excused international duty, although he has no problems with Charlie Mulgrew, Kris Commons or James Forrest being included. The Celtic boss said: "Ideally I would like him to be left out of that because we have a heavy schedule of games."

He added: "Scott has proved beyond doubt that he is good enough to play for Scotland, he is playing the best football of his career this season.

"He did come back from the Scotland trip not in the best condition but we half expected that and there is no blame apportioned.

"But I think if there is an opportunity for him to have a break then we will be asking for that.

"Charlie, Kris or James won't be withdrawn but Scott is an ongoing issue. James has a bit of a hamstring strain and I am hoping he will be okay for the weekend but the rest of the guys are fit and, if they are selected, we won't stand in their way."

Meanwhile, Lennon wants Champions League dreams put aside for Clydesdale Bank Premier League reality when his side visit Dundee United.

The Hoops boss is looking for his men to cement their place at the top of the SPL table after a wobble against Kilmarnock last week, when they lost 2-0 at home to the Rugby Park side. However, he is well aware that many are looking beyond Tannadice to the visit of Barcelona to Parkhead next Wednesday night.

"It is quite easy," he said. "My whole focus is on Dundee United this weekend. Tannadice is a brilliant venue, normally we take plenty of supporters up there, it is a cracking atmosphere and usually it is a competitive game so there will be no talk of Barcelona whatsoever."

Source: PA