Friedel to have knee op
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The American goalkeeper, who has been in outstanding form for Rovers this season, will go for surgery after this weekend's game with Everton.
Friedel has been playing through the pain barrier for the last few weeks with the problem and he is expected to be out of action for a few weeks.
Souness decided to send the former Liverpool shot-stopper for the operation as he wants him available for the hectic festive Christmas programme meaning Alan Kelly will get a rare chance to start between the posts.
"He will go in to have an operation and hopefully he will just miss a couple of games," said Souness.
"We don't want to delay it as we have a busy programme over Christmas. I always said the Premiership was our priority and that's how it remains."
Meanwhile, Souness has admitted his side were beaten by the better team as Celtic marched through to the next round of the Uefa Cup with a 2-0 win at Ewood Park on Thursday night to ensure a 3-0 aggregate success in the Battle of Britain.
"I thought Celtic played very well tonight and it was a different game to the first one," added Souness.
"The first goal changes everything and if we had got the first goal it would have been a different game.
"I felt it was hard on us - that's football. For their part they played well tonight and played like a proper European team.
"Their back three were outstanding and I thought Chris Sutton was the best player on the pitch so all credit to them."
Man of the match Sutton admitted he fears no one in Friday's draw for the third round after their impressive performance against Rovers.
"I don't think it really matters," said Sutton. "There will be some very tough sides who fell out of the Champions League so it will be tough whoever we get.
"On our day we can be more than a match for anybody, but when we're not as we weren't in the first leg then we did struggle against Blackburn so we will see what happens."
"We don't have anything to prove to anybody other than ourselves," said Sutton. "Whoever we will get we will do the best to beat them.
"Everybody went on about the 'Battle of Britain', but for the players it didn't matter at all. England or Scotland, it's more of a media thing.
"We can only prepare ourselves as well as we can for whoever we play. We know we didn't play well in the first leg.
"That's up to the individuals who made those comments. If you make comments like that then they can come back to haunt you and you can get egg on your face.
"But I don't think that motivated us any more. We go out in every game and prepare in the best way we possibly can and do our best. We did that and fortunately we played well.
"That's the nature of the game. People are quick to jump on the bandwagon about Scottish football and how Rangers and Celtic would do in the Premiership.
"But we can only get on and do well in the SPL and do the best we can in Europe.
"We did well last night, but that's just one game. Blackburn played better than us in the first leg and we accepted that, but we thoroughly deserved to win last night."
Sutton was also quick to play down talk of a possible recall to the England set-up after his impressive performance.
"It's something which doesn't bother me any more," added Sutton. "I'm 30 this year.
"I wasn't picked when I was playing in the Champions League last season and I haven't been picked when I've been playing well in England so it's something which doesn't worry me.
"I'm enjoying my football in Scotland and playing for Celtic so that's far more important to me."