Neil Lennon admits he tried to convince Kris Commons not to quit Scotland
Last Updated: 26/05/13 3:14pm
Kris Commons: Neil Lennon tried to dissuade him from quitting Scotland
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed he tried to talk Kris Commons out of quitting international football.
The Hoops forward has decided to put his family and club first and will not add to his 12 international caps.
That led to SFA performance director Mark Wotte questioning the 29-year-old's "pride, desire and ambition" on his Twitter account, with Celtic captain Scott Brown then leaping to Commons' defence.
Lennon admits he is happy to see one of his senior players able to rest during international breaks but revealed he tried to convince Commons to carry on playing for Scotland.
"I tried to talk him out of it, obviously. I think he has a lot to offer (Scotland) still but I respect his decision," Lennon said ahead of Sunday's Scottish Cup final with Hibernian at Hampden Park.
"It is great for me and Celtic that we have a player who won't be travelling with his country and who will be fresh to play for his club but at 29 he still has plenty to offer.
"He is at the peak of his game, he is in great condition, he has had a marvellous season.
"I spoke to (Scotland manager) Gordon Strachan about it, who was disappointed. But looking at Gordon's comments he has left the door open for Kris.
"If ever there comes a time when he may have a re-think then he may go back. He has a young family as well and I think that takes its toll.
"Scott Brown made a very good point. We stay in hotels home and away and we have had a European campaign and internationals on top of that. You are away from your family three or four days a week sometimes.
"I totally understand Kris's point on it. But from a footballing point of view, he still has plenty to give the game."