Neil Lennon says returning players will provide big boost for Celtic

Neil Lennon is looking forward to Celtic finishing January with a stronger squad as the Hoops ended the weekend five points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The champions’ 3-0 win over Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday saw French striker Odsonne Edouard, having had to shrug off a toe complaint, come off the bench to net a quick second-half double after Callum McGregor had scored from the spot before the break.

Boss Lennon was without Kristoffer Ajer, Jeremie Frimpong, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton through various injuries and Ryan Christie was serving the last of a three-match ban.

Second-placed Rangers’ surprise 2-1 defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday meant the pendulum swung Celtic’s way ahead of their match against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night, albeit the Light Blues have a game in hand.

Lennon told Celtic TV that his squad will soon be replenished, saying: “Hopefully Kris Ajer will train on Monday, obviously Ryan Christie’s suspension is up so he’s back.

“That’s two really important players back. We are not too sure how long Jeremie is going to be out for but Elyounoussi should be fit for the end of the month.

“We haven’t got too long to get two or three more back in and with it being the last week of the transfer window we may look to bring one more in.

“It was a very important win against Ross County and a clean sheet.

“At times in the first half we were a little bit open to the counter attack but we tidied that up in the second half and the second-half performance was good and we could have won by more.”

McGregor will be happy to pass penalty duties back to Christie if his fellow Scotland international returns to the team for the trip to Perth.

He said: “Ryan is back on Wednesday so we will have a wee chat about that.

“It doesn’t matter who scores the goals, at this stage of the season it is about getting good performances, three points and kicking on.

“It is always nice to get one but if Ryan comes back and he takes them then fair enough, that’s fine by me.”