Izaguirre returns for Dundee United trip


Emilio Izaguirre

Emilio Izaguirre has been declared fit for tomorrow’s visit to Dundee United.

The Honduran left-back has made a big impression since joining Celtic but missed the wins over Hibs and Hamilton due to a slight thigh muscle tear picked up in the 6-0 Co-Operative Cup win over Inverness Caley Thistle.

Stand-in Charlie Mulgrew picked up a hamstring strain against Hibs forcing Joe Ledley to fill in at left-back but with Izaguirre fit again there will be a more recognisable shape to the Celtic side that visits Tannadice.

“Izaguirre is fit and Paddy McCourt looks okay,” Neil Lennon declared. “Daryl Murphy took a knock in training and is being assessed daily while Thomas Rogne still has a calf problem and Charlie Mulgrew is still suffering with his hamstring.

“James Forrest has an inflammation on his ankle and could be out for another couple of weeks while Andreas Hinkel, Biram Kayal and Brown will obviously be missing.

Izaguirre’s return allows Ledley to move back into a midfield role, which he prefers. He doesn’t want to play full-back but, with Emilio and Charlie out, he was the natural choice to move there. I have a fair idea of what my central midfield pairing will be.”

Despite the injuries to Brown and Kayal Lennon five six players capable of playing in central midfield with Joe Ledley, Efrain Juarez, Ki Sung Yeung, Marc Crosas and Richie Towell in the squad tomorrow.

Another decision to be made is over the captaincy with Daniel Majstorovic likely to be given the armband in Brown’s absence.

Traditionally the captaincy has been the job of a major figure steeped in the history of the club but Lennon’s side for tomorrow will contain only two players- Shaun Maloney and Glenn Loovens- from last season’s squad.

Lennon had to wait five years before being handed the Celtic captaincy by Gordon Strachan and still believes that the skipper fulfills a major role at the club.

The Celtic boss added: “I like captains to set a good example and for a club of this size and calibre I feel it’s an important role.

“I want someone who sets the tone and leads by example. I’m looking for a leader- and they’re a dying breed in the modern game.

“When you think back 15 to 20 years ago all the top sides had two or three players who fulfilled that role.

“However, because we’ve got such a young team it’s difficult to put that burden on them so early in their football careers.”

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