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Sinclair still has role to play at Celtic – Lennon

Neil Lennon insists Scott Sinclair has still got a role to play at Celtic after the attacker came off the bench to score the fifth goal in the 5-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final thrashing of Partick Thistle at Parkhead.

Ivorian striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo, one of eight changes made by the Hoops boss, opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Tom Rogic added a second within a minute of the restart.

Midfielder Olivier Ntcham added two goals in seven minutes before Sinclair, a peripheral figure this season, slammed in the the final goal 14 minutes from time.

Lennon, speaking before it was confirmed Celtic would get Hibernian in the semi-final, said: “It’s just nice to be in the draw.

“He (Sinclair) is still very much part of the squad. We have seen a good sort of reaction from Scott, he is not a sulker.

“His body language in training is improving all the time. He does what he does best, he came on and made a difference, scored a goal, looked strong.”

Lennon described the debut of 18-year-old Dutch defender Jeremie Frimpong, who joined the club on a four-year deal from Manchester City in the summer, as “excellent” and he was also happy to see the return of Australia midfielder Rogic, making his first start of the season.

He said: “That’s Tom’s first 90 minutes in a long time and you can see the work he has put in behind the scenes.

“He got better as the game went on, it looked like he was really enjoying himself. I am really pleased for him.

“He is in the best best condition I have seen, the definition in his body and work rate away from the games has been fantastic and he is a real asset when he is fit and firing.

“It was a wonderful goal as well.”

Ian McCall, in his first game in charge of the Maryhill men since returning to boss the club for a second time on Monday, quickly turned his attention to the game against Inverness on Saturday and the battle to get up from the bottom of the Championship.

He said: “I loved it but I am glad I am not coming here every week

“I don’t think the result flattered Celtic but there were a couple of key moments at 1-0 and, I haven’t seen it, but we felt Tom O’Ware’s (header) looked onside to make it 2-1.

“But absolutely no negative judgement whatsoever, the players competed well and they gave everything.

“We made some substitutions with Inverness on Saturday in mind and we have something to work with and we need to get up that league.”