CELTIC XI off to dublin


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Jan 1, 2004
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The Penny Arcade

A CELTIC XI featuring many of the Hoops who aren’t away on international duty over the course of the next week will play against Dublin side Bohemians this Sunday at Dalymount Park.

With no fewer than eight Celts away with their national sides, Neil Lennon is delighted with the opportunity to retain the remaining players’ match sharpness

The manager believes it will be a useful exercise to keep the players focused and in contention for the up-coming Dundee United fixture the following weekend.

He said: “This week we have a small pool due to the international call-ups, so we will do a bit of physical work before giving them a few days off and then obviously we have the game in Dublin on Sunday.

“We have taken that game on as some of the players might need some game-time before the next run of matches and hopefully it will be a decent competitive game for them.

“It’s good for the club to take the team to Ireland as we have a lot of fans over there, so from that point of view we think that’s a positive thing as well.”

The game against Bohemians kicks-off at 3pm at Dalymount Park on Sunday and tickets priced 20euros for adults and 10euros for Senior Citizens and under-14s are on sale now at the venue or can be bought on the day of the match with the turnstiles open at 1pm.
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Bohemians 1 Celtic 4

MARC CROSAS admits he was gutted to see Scott Brown ruled out of action - but insists he is ready to fill the massive void.

The Spanish midfielder has been a bit-part player since Neil Lennon's appointment as boss.

But he played a starring role at Dalymount yesterday as Lenny's non-internationals breezed home with two goals from Daryl Murphy and strikes from Gary Hooper and Richie Towell.

Brown's absence for the next 12 weeks has given Lennon a real headache, with Israeli midfielder Beram Kayal also crocked.

But Crosas has been ready and waiting to show the Celts boss what he can do and insists he won't let him down if he gets the nod.

He said: "It is always sad when a team-mate gets injured, but I have been working all this time and waiting for an opportunity.

"Beram is injured as well and it is sad, for them, if your opportunity comes as a result of that.

"But if it comes I am going to take it. That's why I have been working hard because if the manager asks me I have to be ready.

"I've been playing reserve games all season and have been using them to make sure I am fit and ready.

"Now I KNOW I am ready, I have been ready all season. Now it is up to the manager to make the decision."

Lennon had vowed to put out a strong team and kept his word with a Hoops line-up full of stars.

It included no fewer than FOUR summer signings - Murphy, Hooper, Anthony Stokes and Efrain Juarez.

They went up against a young Bohs side who, just 24 hours previously, had taken a major step towards another Irish league title with a 1-0 victory at St Patrick's Athletic.

And the Parkhead outfit went ahead in the 24th minute when Hooper evaded two Bohs challenges before slipping the ball past keeper Chris O'Connor.

Murphy made it 2-0 four minutes later with a low shot that the keeper touched but couldn't keep out.

They moved three ahead on the hour mark thanks to kid Towell's header, allowing Lenny to blood youngsters Islam Feruz and Adrian Ruelas in the closing stages. Sub David Lodola pulled a goal back for Bohs with six minutes left before Murphy sealed the win 60 seconds later.

Hoops manager Lennon was delighted to see a number of his bit-part players get game time with some big matches coming up.

Crosas welcomed the chance to take on the Irish side and now hopes he has done enough to stay in Lenny's thoughts ahead of Sunday's trip to Tannadice.

He said: "Every player wants to play and of course if you are not playing you are not happy.

"I just take the decision of the manager, that's what I have to do. But of course it is frustrating when you are not playing. When you are away from home, like I am, you want to play. Even if I was at home I would want to play!

"My job is playing football and if I am not playing I am not happy.

"So it's my job and I need to be ready and if the chance comes I have to take it. This game was good for us. It was a hard game for us and it was good for our fitness.

"We have been playing reserve games all season at Lennoxtown and also some games away from home to try and get fit.

"It's also important to come to Ireland because there are a lot of fans here and it is nice for them.

"They don't get the opportunity to see us every week. So it's good we came here and I think we played a really good game."

Crosas will now be a keen observer at Hampden tomorrow when his Spanish colleagues take on Scotland.

And he admitted he will be interested to see if Scots boss Craig Levein adopts the same tactics he did against the Czech Republic on Friday. He said: "I'll be at the game, yes, and I don't know how it is going to go.

"I think it is a game that suits Scotland because Spain are going to have a lot of the ball.

"I watched Scotland against Iceland last season and Liechtenstein a couple of weeks ago, and if they have a lot of the ball it can be hard for them to create chances. So I think they will be happy to let Spain have the ball all the time.

"I do not know what the formation will be, but if they play with a striker they can hurt Spain on the counter-attack.

"I was talking to a few guys on Saturday and even when you see teams like San Marino they know before the game they will lose, but they still play a striker.

"For my philosophy of football it was a strange decision, but I'm not Scottish and I am not the Scotland manager. I'm not the one making the decisions.

"I just hope Shaun Maloney is playing and he can have a good game and hurt Spain."