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Former Scottish Cup hero warns Lennon not to make changes

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Frank McAvennie has urged Neil Lennon to stick with the new faces that have given Celtic’s season a glimmer of hope.

When the team was announced to face Lille last week the names of Conor Hazard, Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull grabbed the eye with only the former Motherwell man having started a match- one match- going into the tie against the French side.

There was a new dynamic and purpose about the way Celtic played as Turnbull sealed a near perfect performance with the goal that gave Lennon’s side their first Europa League win.

That win was followed up by another against Kilmarnock on Sunday but after the match Lennon mentioned loyalty and the hardcore when he was quizzed about his team selection to face Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final.

Across Social Media that suggestion didn’t go down well with McAvennie agreeing with that concern as he told The Sun:

I think Lenny needs to go with the boys who are in the team now, especially Soro and Turnbull. They have won two games in a row for the first time in months and he’s got to give them a run. The fans are happy with them. They have given the side energy and enthusiasm. When these boys lose the ball they immediately look to get it back.

The players who were in before them hadn’t been doing that. Having competition for places is a good thing and some Celtic players haven’t had that for a while. They thought they were guaranteed a place, but that’s not the case now these boys have come in. I think Celtic will buy again in January, but right now Soro and Turnbull have to play at Hampden.

If Lenny changes the team, leaves those players out and they end up losing, then he’s going to have lots of problems — and they’ll be self-inflicted. He doesn’t need to make changes.

In 1988 McAvennie scored twice in the Scottish Cup Final win over Dundee United as Celtic came from behind to clinch the double in their Centenary season.

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