STRIKE AC­TION

Len­non open to Jan­uary move for a front man

Scottish Daily Mail - - Football - By STEPHEN McGOWAN

NEIL LEN­NON ad­mits he could raid the mar­ket for a new Celtic striker in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

Cen­tre-for­ward Vak­oun Is­souf Bayo is out of tonight’s home clash with St Mir­ren af­ter checks on a swollen knee.

And with Leigh Grif­fiths bat­tling to get back to full fit­ness, the Celtic boss is weigh­ing up his op­tions should any­thing hap­pen to on-form top scorer Od­sonne Edouard.

Ryan Christie can also play in at­tack, while Grif­fiths and winger Mikey John­ston are due to make their re­turns to first-team train­ing to­mor­row.

Ad­dress­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of sign­ing an­other for­ward in the New Year, how­ever, Len­non said: ‘It may be an area we’ll look at. But there’s no set tar­gets as yet.

‘Bayo took a knock on his knee on Mon­day and it’s a bit swollen, so it’s be­ing checked out. He may be a doubt.

‘We need to get Grif­fiths back in and around it to give us more depth and sup­port. The sooner he

gets fit, the bet­ter. You get anx­i­ety (around Edouard) be­cause he is a qual­ity player and you don’t want to lose him at any time. ‘If it is the case, hope­fully Bayo, Grif­fiths and a cou­ple of oth­ers could slot in there. ‘Mikey can do it, Christie can do it. There’s a flex­i­bil­ity about them. ‘But you don’t want to lose Od­sonne for any games be­cause he is so piv­otal to the way we play. We would just have to man­age it if that even­tu­al­ity comes around.’ Irked that crit­i­cism of Aberdeen’s ca­pit­u­la­tion out­weighed praise for his side af­ter Sun­day’s 4-0 thrash­ing of the Dons at Pit­to­drie, Len­non wants his free-scor­ing side to keep the pedal to the metal against St Mir­ren. ‘We beat Lazio Thurs­day night and they weren’t bad ei­ther,’ added the North­ern Ir­ish­man. ‘To go to Aberdeen and play as well as that, in what is al­ways a dif­fi­cult game for us and al­ways tight, was out­stand­ing. ‘The at­ti­tude and ap­pli­ca­tion of the play­ers was first class and they got a grip of the game. ‘We’ve seen what the team is ca­pa­ble of and we want more of that fo­cus and in­ten­sity.’ Ad­mit­ting it’s hard to find fault with his team when they are scor­ing goals and sit­ting top of both their Europa League group and the Pre­mier­ship, Len­non in­sisted there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment. ‘There will al­ways be as­pects you weren’t happy about and you im­prove on that,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t like they weren’t try­ing to score in that sec­ond half (with all four goals against

Aberdeen com­ing in the first pe­riod). They to­tally dom­i­nated that as well and we could have had a cou­ple more. ‘But, psy­cho­log­i­cally, you take your foot off the pedal a bit. ‘In the main, to play as well as that af­ter Thurs­day was just su­perb. ‘But this is a dif­fer­ent game, a dif­fer­ent fix­ture against a St Mir­ren team who don’t give away a lot. They don’t score a lot, but don’t give away a lot. ‘It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent game again and the at­ti­tude again has to be spot on. ‘If you start get­ting com­pla­cent then, one, you will be out of the team and, two, there will be a lot of ques­tions asked about you. ‘So, it’s im­por­tant you main­tain that will to win and de­sire and in­ten­sity week in and week out. At the minute we have a ti­tle race on.’

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