England omission for Hooper and Forster surprises Neil Lennon

Hooper scored the only goal of the game against Motherwell
Hooper scored the only goal of the game against Motherwell

Celtic's Neil Lennon has expressed surprise that England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has overlooked in-form Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper.

Neither striker Hooper, not goalkeeper Forster, were included in the squad to face Netherlands on Wednesday in the first game since Fabio Capello's exit.

"They talk about good young English players," said a disappointed Lennon.

"Well, there's two who have been playing at a very high level for two years and playing very well."

Forster, spending his second season at Celtic on loan from Newcastle United, has now enjoyed six consecutive clean sheets, while Hooper grabbed his 20th of the season with the only goal of Saturday's win over third-top Motherwell.

Scotland had looked, unsuccessfully, into the eligibility of the striker to play for them and Wales have recently followed suit.

Uncapped striker Fraizer Campbell was called up by Pearce for this week's England game despite only making six appearances this season.

The closest fellow 24-year-old Hooper has come to a international call was being named in Pearce's squad for Under-21 matches against Denmark and Iceland in March 2010 before having to pull out through injury.

Hooper, though, did not think that playing in the Scottish Premier League, which Celtic now lead by 23 points after Rangers were deducted 10 points after going into administration, might hamper his international ambitions.

"I don't think so," said the striker who joined Celtic from Scunthorpe two summers ago.

"If you are doing the job on the pitch, someone has to look at you.

"I haven't thought about it to be fair. I am just getting on with my game.

"My job is scoring goals for Celtic and winning every game, so at the moment I'm doing fine.

"But I would love to be in for England, so we will just have to see what happens.

"Maybe I should be given the chance, but it's up to whoever is in charge down there.

"If I do my job, we've got to see what happens."

Hooper is on his way to surpassing last season's total of 22 goals and is two ahead of team-mate Anthony Stokes this season.

"I'm very pleased," he added. "My aim was for 25.

"Hopefully I can get more. I have 16 in the league and my aim is to be top scorer for Celtic and in the SPL."