Celtic: Brendan Rodgers tips Jack Hendry to become Scotland mainstay

By David CurrieBBC Scotland
Celtic and Scotland defender Jack Hendry
Jack Hendry made his Scotland debut in Tuesday's 1-0 win in Budapest

Celtic central defender Jack Hendry can become a mainstay for Scotland for the next decade, according to his club manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 22-year-old made his international debut in Tuesday's friendly victory over Hungary in Budapest.

"He has the quality to play for Celtic and the international team for the next 10 years," said Rodgers.

"His profile suits the highest level. He's quick and can defend, and it's important you can deal with the ball."

Hendry was released by Wigan last summer and moved to Dundee, from where he earned a January switch to Celtic.

The defender said he was unsurprised at how well his international debut had gone, a sentiment echoed by Rodgers.

"For a player making his first appearance away from home on the international stage, I thought he was very composed and looks like he'd played a lot more games than what he has done," added the Celtic manager.

"He made one crucial interception in the game that I'm not sure too many Scottish centre-halves could make. He had to get across the ground at speed and block and defend it. I thought his performance was exceptional."

Griffiths ready to return

Rodgers has confirmed that striker Leigh Griffiths, who has been sidelined since late January with a calf injury and missed both of Scotland's recent friendlies, is ready to return to action in Saturday's Premiership match against Ross County.

"He has been training really well now for the last couple of weeks, so he is available for selection," said the manager.

"We have taken our time with it; he has been outside of here as well to get some specialist treatment. Importantly he feels good with it and he has looked very good in training.

"He is a very important player for us and to have him back available between now and the end of the season is massive for us."

Leigh Griffiths smiles as he trains with Celtic on Thursday
Leigh Griffiths has scored 12 goals for Celtic this season but has been out for the last two months

Meanwhile, Rodgers has played down the prospect of winger Scott Sinclair, who has scored 42 goals since arriving in the summer of 2016, returning to England this summer.

"I just think between now and the end of the season this is probably where the stories begin, and if reporters aren't sure they'll probably just do what they normally do - make it up," he said.

"Scott's very happy, he's a fantastic player for us and he's coming into a part of the season where he was really effective for us last year.

"He's got 17 goals this year, a lot of assists, and this is as a wide player. He's a very important member of our squad here and importantly, he's very happy."


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