Lennon welcomes Samaras return
Neil Lennon welcomed the return of striker Georgios Samaras as he looks forward to an important week in Celtic's season.
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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 Thursday day for the first time since injuring his elbow on international duty with Greece earlier in the month.
9. Georgios Samaras
"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.
"I was really pleased with the performance on Tuesday and I want to take that into the game on Saturday.
"Motherwell have started the season very well. However, we are very motivated to go and win the game.
"And it is nice to have a three-o'clock kick-off on a Saturday, particularly, for an away game.
"All the ingredients are there for a great game and I'm sure we will provide one."