NEIL LENNON has revealed an admission from Odsonne Edouard that he was struggling with fatigue was behind his decision to leave his star man out of the win over Livingston, but he hopes to have the striker available for Thursday night’s Europa League tie against Riga.

Edouard was left on the bench for the 3-2 victory at Celtic Park after telling his manager on Friday that he was tired, but Lennon refuted suggestions that transfer speculation had unsettled the player.

He did admit though that a contingency plan is in place should a bid arrive for the young Frenchman that the club can’t refuse.

“He was away with France and played two 90 minutes when he was away with them,” Edouard said. 

“He had missed the previous three games for us before that.

“I spoke to him on Friday and he was struggling so you have to look after the player. Hopefully he will be fresh for Thursday which is a very important game for us. 

“We do not want to sell. We have had no bids or confirmed interest in him. I am hoping come the end of the window he will still be a Celtic player.

“He is not causing any problems behind the scenes. He was honest enough to say he was struggling, and I take his word on that. 

“He is not for sale. A lot of this rumbling behind the scene is speculation just now. There is a contingency and there will be a lot of talk about Odsonne.

“We just want him fit and ready for Thursday.”

Livingston manager Gary Holt meanwhile was aggrieved not to have earned at least a point, particularly as he felt that Celtic’s second goal on the day should have been ruled out.

“There's big disappointment that we didn't get more,” Holt said. “Celtic's second goal was offside. You need decisions to go your way here, that's the fine lines.

“We don't play for offside, but the backline did their job. We could have still cleared it, but you need help here.

“For all our good play – and we were brave on the ball – those fine lines went against us.”