NEIL LENNON admits he was surprised to see Ryan Christie play so much football for Scotland over the international break, saying he expected his attacker to perhaps be rested for the match against Slovakia.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke made eight changes for the second match of their three-game run, but opted to keep Christie in the starting XI after his goalscoring heroics against Serbia three days earlier.

The 25-year-old was substituted with three minutes of normal time remaining in that match, but played every other minute for the Scots over the international week.

While Lennon says that Christie will be fit to take part in the match against Hibernian this afternoon, the hectic schedule of domestic and international fixtures has him considering how to best manage his squad.

“I was surprised Ryan played three 90 minutes but that maybe shows how important he is to Steve,” Lennon said.

“Ryan is fine, he had a bit of a bump on his thigh but has trained and is okay.

“He will be full of confidence, there is a feel-good factor with Scotland qualifying with Ryan, Cal (Callum McGregor), Greg (Taylor) and Leigh (Griffiths) all having a big say in it.

“It’s maybe a time to keep him going, I’m sure down the line you’ll need to rest him or change things up, but I don’t feel the need to do that at the moment.

“Normally when you are getting humped you come back down in the dumps - I have experienced that myself.

“But certainly on this occasion it has been brilliant for them and there is a huge incentive for them to maintain their form throughout the season with having a big tournament at the end of it.

“You obviously have to keep an eye on players who have played three ninety minutes in six days.

“You will have to use the squad because it’s impossible to keep the consistency of selection with the volume of games we have.

“It’s good for the squad though because there are a lot of incentives there and a lot of individual motivations.

“With the amount of games you have and the inclement weather coming, you will need your squad because injuries will happen.”