Pundit Exclusive: Griffiths is right over 'Unbelievable' Celtic player after axe wielded
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was correct to axe Ismaila Soro and start Scott Brown in the Scottish Cup final, says Noel Whelan.
Soro was instrumental in Celtic’s back-to-back wins coming into the Hampden Park thriller won by the Hoops to seal a historic quadruple treble.
The decision to oust the 22-year-old midfielder from the starting lineup was therefore greeted with surprise in some quarters.
But six-time Scottish Cup winner Brown was one of Celtic’s best players before being replaced in extra-time with the scores at 3-2.
Goalscorer Leigh Griffiths said the skipper put in an “unbelievable” performance.
Asked by Football Insider whether Lennon made the right call, Whelan said: “I think you’ve got to go with experience. I think it was a good decision to make. It’s a difficult one, don’t get me wrong.
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“But as a manager, you’ve got to make these difficult decisions. Scott Brown, you know he’s a leader out there, he’s one of these players that he’s been at the club a long, long time.
“He’s played in many cup finals. I think you need these sorts of players out on the field when it comes to these sorts of games.
“Despite the fact you’re playing against Hearts that’s a league below you, I think you’ve got to go to tried and trusted.”
Celtic eventually prevailed in the penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw in 120 minutes.
Lennon will now be faced with a dilemma in terms of whether to restore Soro to the starting 11 for Wednesday’s fixture against Ross County.
In other news, Celtic are set to receive a £3.7million European bonus.