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Lennon: McCourt must seize moment
Published : 09 Aug 2010 08:01:18
Neil Lennon has challenged Paddy McCourt to go that extra mile with his fitness and prove he is up to speed as a potential Celtic replacement for the departing Aiden McGeady.McGeady is poised to complete a £9.5million move to Spartak Moscow with Lennon revealing, after Sunday's 2-1 home friendly loss to Blackburn, that the player had already "said his goodbyes" at Parkhead.McCourt extended his Celtic contract with a new three-year deal earlier this summer and was given McGeady's wide role on Sunday, producing a typically uneven display of sublime skill, combined with some sluggish decision-making.Now, with McGeady's departure seemingly inevitable, Lennon wants McCourt to seize his moment to demonstrate he can go from being a bit-part player to someone with a major role to play in Celtic's domestic season, which begins at Inverness on Saturday.Lennon said: "Paddy's fitness is improving and he got 90 minutes under his belt today, but he has a wee breather now and again in games. He had a wee niggle with his hamstring so we need to monitor that, but there's no doubting his talent and we saw that again. I don't know if you can ever get him fully fit."Everyone has been trying that for the time he's been here, but he may never do it for a concerted period of time. Playing consistently a number of games, he hasn't done that since he's been here, but we're working towards that. If he keeps getting niggles, though, we have to pull him out."