No worries about missing the start of the Hibs game
By Grahame Greeen
Updated Friday, 1st October 2010
Samaras believes Neil Lennon had his best interests at heart on Saturday
Georgios Samaras claims Neil Lennon was looking after his best interests when his name was posted missing from the starting 11 on the team-sheet against Hibs following his hat-trick against Inverness. The striker scored his first treble for Celtic during last Wednesday's 6-0 Co-operative Insurance Cup victory over Terry Butcher's side. However, there was no chance of a repeat performance on Saturday as Shaun Maloney replaced the Greek in the starting line-up for the 2-1 victory against Hibs. Samaras did get involved in the game as he came on for Gary Hooper for the last 20 minutes. But Samaras believes Lennon is protecting him after the short summer break due to his involvement in the World Cup in South Africa.
Samaras said: "I know they have taken extra care with me as I came in straight after the World Cup and sometimes I need a rest, and that is normal. It's not good if you play 90 minutes and then pick up an injury that puts you out for three or four weeks. I think the gaffer knows exactly what I can do and sometimes when I am not playing it's for my own good. And for the moment we have a good squad and he can use the rotation, and that's a good thing."
Samaras looked to be on his way out of Parkhead this summer after making only one start following the Scottish Cup defeat by Ross County. However, Samaras has featured in all but two of Celtic's games this season, mostly from the start, and Lennon recently spoke of offering him a contract extension. Samaras said of his manager: "He knows me as a football player and what I can do on and off the pitch. So I don't think I need to prove to anyone what I can do. Everyone knows last year that we were not so good, but I think this year under Lenny he has tried to change the character and attitude of the team, as well as bringing some players in. And every day in training and every game, things are getting better and better."