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Gordon to return for Celtic as Lennon makes changes

The manager says Gordon needs games to keep him sharp and will face Partick Thistle.

Craig Gordon will play his first game for Celtic in a month after being given the nod to start against Partick Thistle in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Following the arrival of Fraser Forster, Gordon has slipped down the pecking order. The club's other keeper, Scott Bain, is currently on the sidelines after sustaining a hand injury.

Manager Neil Lennon said he had three good goalkeepers on his books and it was important Gordon was match sharp in case he was to be called into the team for a longer term.

"Craig will play," he confirmed. "He hasn't done a lot wrong but it's important he gets games and it's important that we keep him motivated.

"If anything were to happen to Fraser and Craig is under-cooked then that would be remiss of me. Not only does he need to play, he deserves to play."

'I don't think there's any pressure on the players now, in terms of this competition anyway. They have won it three years in a row. I don't know if there's a huge expectation to win it again.'
Neil Lennon

Lennon said that he would make several changes for the cup clash with some being necessary due to injuries.

"Moritz (Bauer) twisted his ankle so he'll be a doubt," he said. "Christopher Jullien is fine, but obviously we have to take a steer on games coming up as well, for the likes of (James) Forrest, (Scott) Brown, (Callum) McGregor, (Ryan) Christie, (Boli) Bolingoli, they have all been playing a lot of football.

"We would like to play them in every game but it's not realistic, and there are players champing at the bit to play as well, so we need to try and find the right balance."

Having won the last nine domestic trophies, Celtic are looking to continue a dominant run but Lennon didn't feel that there was added pressure going into the knockout games as a result.

"I don't think there's any pressure on the players now, in terms of this competition anyway," he said.

"They have won it three years in a row. I don't know if there's a huge expectation to win it again.

"If that is the case, they are well used to it. But no-one is feeling any pressure going into the game.

"We want to play well, we want to keep our form going. A lot of the players here have won three League Cups in a row and we want to keep that run going in both competitions as long as possible."

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