Neil Lennon says he no longer has a first-choice XI after watching a much-changed Celtic side record another emphatic Scottish Premiership victory at Motherwell on Saturday.
The champions put St Johnstone to the sword on the opening day of the season but looked like they might have a harder day at the office when the Steelmen took the lead at Fir Park. However, that only seemed to inspire the visitors as they rattled in five goals en route to recording a 5-2 victory.
All of Celtic’s goals came from different scorers with Kristoffer Ajer claiming his first goal in Scottish football, while Leigh Griffiths, James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie were also on target. Lennon shuffled his pack following the 1-1 draw against Romanian side CFR Cluj in midweek with Edouard and Christie dropping to the bench.
The Northern Irishman was also forced to make alterations to his defence but felt the strong performance showed he now has a squad with enough strength in depth to be able to make numerous changes without the performance suffering. “I don’t have a first-choice eleven,” said Lennon.
“These guys are quality players, first-team players. [Leigh] Griffiths is a Scottish international with a proven record for goals and [Olivier] Ntcham is a £5m midfield player who has shown he is that – probably more now. “So I had no hesitation in playing them,” he added.
“We had to change the back four with Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jozo [Simunovic] being out and that might have caused us a few teething problems early on. “It is difficult to get that consistency of selection with that going on but as the game wore on we looked very, very assured and strong.”
Celtic, who are 1.36 to retain their Scottish Premiership title this season, now turn their attention back to Champions League qualification. Cluj visit Celtic Park on Tuesday night with Lennon’s men holding a slight advantage thanks to James Forrest’s away goal from the first leg.