Lennon angered by communication breakdown

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has accused the Israel Football Association of disrespecting the club by leaving him in the dark about Beram Kayal’s ankle injury.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has accused the Israel Football Association of disrespecting the club by leaving him in the dark about Beram Kayal’s ankle injury.

The injury to Kayal could rule him out of tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United at Parkhead.

He was taken from the field on a stretcher in the first half of Israel’s 4-3 friendly defeat to the Ivory Coast on Wednesday night following a challenge from Chelsea star Didier Drogba.

However, the Celtic boss, who has a host of other injury worries to contend with, was unaware of the extent of the injury until Kayal returned to Glasgow.

Left-back Emilio Izaguirre broke his ankle at Aberdeen last week and could be out for six months.

Stopper Glenn Loovens is out for another month with a hamstring injury while skipper Scott Brown suffered an ankle knock playing for Scotland against Denmark at Hampden in midweek which leaves him in doubt for the visit of the Taysiders.

Lennon, though, believes he should have been informed sooner about his Israeli midfielder.

“I am not happy with the Israeli FA, there has been a lack of communication between their medical team and my medical team,” said the former Hoops skipper.

“Kayal got a bad one. It was a big impact from the tackle, he rolled his ankle and it is still quite swollen so he is obviously a major doubt for tomorrow.

“But we only knew the extent of the injury when we saw Beram yesterday, so that is something that needs to be addressed.

“It’s not the first time that’s happened to us.

“It has happened with other countries. Cha (Du-ri) played last year (for South Korea) when he was injured and we lost him for a few weeks after that.

“I’m just disappointed by the way we are being treated when we are good enough to let our players go.

“I think there is a professional respect, there is a duty there that they should be straight on the phone to our football club and let us know the extent of the injury and at least give my doctor an explanation of what has happened.”

Lennon continued: “Scott Brown is a doubt, he got a bit of a bang and rolled his ankle but it is not as severe as Beram’s so I am hoping he can make it for tomorrow but if not he should be okay for Thursday (the Europa League play-off first leg against Sion).”

The Northern Irishman believes his squad have been cursed by bad luck in the early weeks of the season.

“Injuries can happen at any time but it is so early in the season,” said Lennon.

“Izaguirre is out long-term and Loovens out for four to six weeks and if we lose these two guys tomorrow it is a blow for us.

“I think it is just bad luck. Scott’s challenge was 50-50 and he came out of it awkwardly.

“I haven’t seen Beram’s challenge but it seems it was pretty bad and Emilio’s was down to pure bad luck.

“It is disappointing but it gives them plenty of time to recover and still feature in the season.”

In addition to his injury worries, Lennon claimed the international break has left him with little time to plan for the game against United.

“We had 16 players away this week and I have not seen the majority of them until today,” he said.

“We are training this afternoon, so we have had no preparation work for this game at all.

“We might have to rejig the team a bit but I’m sure the boys who come in will do a good job for us.

“Dundee United have lost a lot of players in the last year and a half but Peter (Houston) seems to keep reinventing the team.

“They are unbeaten this season and their away form is pretty decent so it will be a difficult game for us.

“They took points off us last season so we will have to be wary of that.”

One positive from the international week was the scintillating performance of Paddy McCourt, who scored twice in Northern Ireland’s 4-0 victory over the Faroe Islands.

However, Lennon denied the former Derry City player, who is a cult hero among the Parkhead fans despite his ongoing struggle to pin down a first-team place, has given him food for thought.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder said: “Not really because I know Paddy can do that. I was delighted for him.

“He wasn’t sure he would start the game so I am pleased for him.

“It gave Northern Ireland a boost and he made a huge contribution and entertained the crowd which is what he can do.

“So he will come back full of the joys of spring.

“He would probably like to play more games but he is a valuable member of the squad.

“He has just got to be patient like everybody else, the chance will come along and if it does he has just got to take it.”

Lennon has still not given up hope of bringing back Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy but seemed to accept that he will lose Polish goalkeeping target, Grzegorz Sandomierski, to Genk.

He said: “From what I can gather he is in Genk at the minute.

“If there is an avenue we will pursue it but we do have other options.”

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