Lennon challenges strikers

Bhoys boss wants players to step up in Hooper's absence

Hooper: Ankle injury

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Neil Lennon has challenged Celtic's strikers to step up with leading goalscorer Gary Hooper on the sidelines for six weeks.

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Hooper suffered a severe ankle strain in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock and will now be out of action for at least a month.

A statement on the club's official websiteread: "Following an MRI scan, the specialist and the Celtic club doctor confirmed that the player could be out for up to six weeks with a severe ankle strain."

The former Scunthorpe United ace is the club's leading scorer in SPL action and Lennon's fringe players will now get a chance in the limelight.

With Hooper missing the rest of the busy festive period, Lennon wants one of his other strikers to take over from the 22-year-old.

"Out of a crisis comes an opportunity," he told Sky Sports News. "It's an opportunity for the other players to come in and show me why they are here.

"(Anthony) Stokes, (Georgios) Samaras or (Darryl) Murphy. We can show a bit of variety with one of the wide men through the middle as well. They've got to step up and take responsibility for the goals now that Gary is out."