Celtic handed triple boost
Stephen McManus, Paul Hartley and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink are in the squad for Wednesday's clash with Benfica
By Peter O'Rourke
Last Updated: 22/10/07 11:46am
Celtic have been handed a triple boost with the news that Stephen McManus, Paul Hartley and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink are in the squad for Wednesday's clash with Benfica.
The trio travelled with the rest of the squad for the UEFA Champions League trip to Lisbon as Celtic look to bounce back from Saturday's disappointing Old Firm derby defeat to Rangers.
McManus has been passed fit to face Benfica despite being knocked unconscious against Rangers.
The Scottish international was stretchered off after a nasty clash of heads with Rangers striker Daniel Cousin.
Celtic first-team coach Tommy Burns revealed they were glad McManus had recovered from the problem and that he could captain the side against Benfica.
"Thank God he has recovered very well and he has travelled," said Burns.
"I think we have got to remember that Stephen is still a young man, and he is
a young man in football terms also.
"It's only the last couple of seasons that he has got in the first team and he has done exceptionally well.
"But he is a big figurehead to the club now so we are hopeful he can go and lead the boys on Wednesday night.
"It's entirely down to himself and the doctor at this moment in time."
Hartley and Vennegoor of Hesselink both missed the defeat at Ibrox with hamstring problems, but they could be line to return against Benfica after making the trip to Portugal.
Steven Pressley has been included in the squad after recovering from back surgery and there is also a recall for out-of-favour defender Bobo Balde.