Break fits the bill for Lennon

CELTIC are ready to reap the reward for the rest and relaxation they received in Turkey.

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Neil Lennon gives Adam Matthews a hand following the 4-0 win in Paisley last weekend
Neil Lennon gives Adam Matthews a hand following the 4-0 win in Paisley last weekend

Motherwell will be the first to come up against the recharged champions when Stuart McCall brings his on-form side to Parkhead on Saturday.

And Hoops defender Adam Matthews - who was celebrating his 22nd birthday yesterday as the squad returned from contesting the Antalya Cup final on Sunday - believes the benefit of the break will be clear for all to see.

"We've played a lot of games this season, with the Champions League qualifiers," he said.

"So, it's been good for the players who have played most of the matches to just play a bit of the games and then get a bit of sun.

"We have had so many fixtures, and it did start to show, so it's been good to get the break.

"Hopefully, we can carry on where we left off when we get back.

"Although we had two games when we were away, they weren't competitive. It's just nice to wind down, chill and get some nice weather.

"It's been good a trip and I'm sure we will see the benefits later on in the season."

The full-back picked up a slight injury which kept him out of the final against Galatasaray.

But after missing three months of the campaign with a broken collarbone, he is ready to put his shoulder to the wheel for the second half of the season.

Matthews' return to action coincided with Mikael Lustig going under the knife for hip surgery, which will keep the Swede out for another few months.

He said: "This hasn't been my best season with injuries, so I just want to play as many games as I can.

"Hopefully, all that is behind me now, and 2014 will be an injury-free year for me."

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