Lennon glad to have Samaras fit

PA Sport
Giorgos Samaras has been a key performer for Celtic in Europe

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Giorgos Samaras has been a key performer for Celtic in Europe

Neil Lennon has welcomed the return of striker Georgios Samaras as he looks forward to an important week in Celtic's season.

A win over Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday could take the Hoops top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League ahead of their Champions League Group G clash with Spartak Moscow in Russia on Tuesday.

The Parkhead boss is getting most of his squad back to full fitness, but he was especially glad to see Samaras join in training on Friday for the first time since injuring his elbow on international duty with Greece earlier in the month.

"He is a key man and we have missed him at times," said Lennon. "He does seem to thrive in the European environment and we will give him every opportunity to be fit for Saturday and Tuesday.

"He came through his first proper training session yesterday and feels pretty comfortable with the cast we have had made for him."

The former Celtic skipper was unsure whether Rangers had done his side a favour by beating the Steelmen 2-0 in their Scottish Communities League Cup third-round at Ibrox on Wednesday night, the night after the Hoops had eased past Raith Rovers and into the quarter-finals with a 4-1 win.

Lennon said: "I don't know how damaging that (Rangers) result will be for Motherwell, but they are at home and Fir Park is always a tough venue.

"Psychologically it would be great going in to the game next week (top of the SPL), but all our focus is on Motherwell and trying to build up a bit of momentum, particularly domestically."

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