Lennon trusts Strachan's judgement

  • Last Updated: February 4 2013, 8:31 GMT

Celtic manager Neil Lennon trusts Gordon Strachan to utilise his players sensibly when Scotland take on Estonia next Wednesday night.

Gordon Strachan: Preparing for first game in charge
Gordon Strachan: Preparing for first game in charge

Scott Brown, Charlie Mulgrew, Kris Commons and James Forrest have all been included in Strachan's first international squad for the friendly at Pittodrie.

Commons, Forrest and Mulgrew scored the goals in Celtic's 3-0 William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round win over Raith to earn a quarter-final tie against St Mirren in Paisley in March.

Lennon is mindful of his side's Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus on February 16, and has been in touch with the new Scotland manager to give his views.

He said: "I have spoken to Gordon about the Scottish players and he understands my situation. I have every trust in Gordon to deal with that properly.

"I haven't asked him not to play them. James could do with some game-time, Kris might need a wee run-out while Scott and Charlie have played all season.

"I'll leave that up to Gordon. I'm not going to pick his team for him.

"But of all the weeks to have international games... I don't who decides or puts these dates in place.

"We have got the biggest game in four or five years at the club coming - and we have players all over the world.

"It's a concern. We've got at least seven or eight players away."

Commons is looking forward to meeting Strachan for the first time.

He said: "It's a good opportunity to meet up with the guys and from my point of view it's a chance to meet Gordon. I've never met him before and I'm looking forward to coming face to face with him.

"Whether or not I get game time - I don't know."

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster was missing from the Raith win with a neck injury but Lennon will play him against Inverness next week with the Juve game in mind, while Georgios Samaras (hamstring) and Emilio Izaguirre (knee) remain doubtful.

The Celtic boss was glad to see winger Forrest return for the first time since recovering from a hamstring problem which had kept him out since Boxing Day.

He said: "James got a few minutes and we hope he will get some game-time with Scotland this week.

"We hope he will play at Inverness next week and we can get him ready for Juventus - which we have tried to do with the whole squad.

"Fraser should be okay for next weekend. The plan is to get him a game before Juventus.

"He's itching to play and could have gone away with England, but we felt it would be better to get a good week of work before the Champions League.

"He was just a little bit short going into the Raith game but he should be okay for next week.

"We will give Izaguirre and Samaras every chance. We will be aggressive with the rehab but we won't take gambles.

"Emilio is just ahead of Georgios at the minute."

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