Neil Lennon urged Kris Commons not to end Scotland career

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he tried to persuade Kris Commons to continue playing international football instead of retiring at the age of 29.

The winger this week told Scotland manager Gordon Strachan he wanted to concentrate on his club career and spend more time with his family .

"I tried to talk him out of it obviously," said Lennon. "I think he's got a lot to offer still.

"But I respect his decision and it's great for me and Celtic."

Mansfield-born Commons, who qualifies for Scotland through a grandmother, made his international debut in 2008 and has since won 12 caps.

We've got a player who won't be travelling with his country, but at 29 I think he has plenty to offer

Neil Lennon Celtic manager

He joined Celtic in 2011 in a £300,000 transfer from Derby County and has been praised for his performances this season.

"For us, we have a player who will be fresh to play for his club," said Lennon, explaining the benefits of Commons's decision for the Scottish champions.

"We've got a player who won't be travelling with his country, but at 29 I think he has plenty to offer.

"He's at the peak of his game, he's in great condition, he's had a marvellous season.

"I spoke about it to Gordon, who was disappointed. But, looking at Gordon's comments, he's left the door open for Kris.

"So if there ever comes a time where he may have a rethink then he might go back."

International team-mate Scott Brown voiced sympathy for Commons  earlier in the week and Lennon feels the Celtic captain made a valid observation

"He's got a young family and that takes its toll," said the Celtic manager.

"Scott Brown made a very good point the other day. We stay at hotels home and away and we've had a European campaign and then you have internationals on top of that and you're away from your family three or four days a week at times.

"I totally understand Kris's point on it, but from a footballing point of view I think he still has plenty to give the game."