By Noel Whelan

31st Oct, 2020 | 5:38pm

Pundit Exclusive: Lennon told to start barely-seen Celtic 28-yr-old tomorrow

Noel Whelan has urged Neil Lennon to keep Scott Bain in the Celtic starting XI over the coming weeks.

The former Leeds and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the 28-year-old has done enough in the absence of Vasilis Barkas to retain his place in the side.

The Scotland international started in place of the injured Greek shot-stopper against Aberdeen last weekend and kept his place between the sticks versus Lille in midweek.

While he conceded five goals over the two games, two came from the penalty spot and he saved another spot-kick in the Hhoys’ Europa League tie.

Whelan has insisted Bain has taken his chance with both hands and that he deserves to keep his place in the side despite Barkas’ return to fitness.

Whelan told Football Insider: “When you look at it, the two goals (v Lille) he was not at blame for. What he did have to do was save a penalty and he’s done that. 

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“This is what competition for places is all about, you’ve got to be ready and it’s difficult for goalkeepers because a lot of the time you’re sitting on your bum on the bench not even getting any game time to showcase your skills and why you should be in the side. 

“He’s really given a headache to Neil Lennon and I think in my eyes he’s taken that chance and deserves the opportunity for the games coming up.” 

Bain has played just three times for Celtic this season, although he has been among the matchday squad for every single one of the Hoops’ games.

Barkas meanwhile has made 14 appearances and kept eight clean sheets since his move from AEK Athens.

In other Celtic news, the Hoops may sign a Leeds loanee after Sunday.