“Nothing can be compared to Celtic Park. It’s wild,” Celtic Star, Aye, it’s a Jungle out there son!


1.  SCOTLAND CALL: Stevie Woods, the Celtic goalkeeping coach who is now part of the Scotland set-up,  on Jack Hendry’s Scotland call up at the start of the week.

“Alex McLeish asked me about him last week because he came to attention after the Rangers game. He was asking me what his best position was, how he felt about playing out of position, if he was as calm on the ball as he looked.

“I gave him a positive feedback, but I think he was well aware of his qualities before. I was just backing that up. It has been brilliant for him and I think he has got the capabilities – mentally and physically – to take that on and handle it no problem.”

2. A BHOY v BHOY FRIENDLY FIGHT: Andy Robertson, the one who got away as far as Celtic is concerned, spoke to the press yesterday about the “battle” he will enjoy having with Kieran Tierney for the Scotland left back role over the coming years. 

“KT has been brilliant. He had to adapt to playing right-back in the World Cup qualifying campaign, but against England we played five at the back and we worked down the left-hand side together.

“I thought it worked quite well. But that was under the old manager and now the new manager will have some new ideas and we’ll look forward to seeing what they are. We’re not quite sure how Alex McLeish will set up. There’s been a lot of talk but, ultimately, that’s up to him.

“I’m sure he’ll adapt to different games and different situations. But if we have to fight for one spot then I’m sure we’ll be both be up for it and whoever the manager picks we’ll have to respect that. If he is going to try to get both of us in the team then one of us will have to adapt, because we both can’t stand on each others’ toes, that’s for sure.”

Robertson had a wee word for the ex-Scotland skipper, who recently announced his international retirement.

“Broony was a fantastic captain for a number of years and we were very lucky. He led by example and did a terrific job. So, I think whoever takes over will have big boots to fill.”

3. PADDY’S FRUSTRATIONS: He came back into the team as a second half substitute at Motherwell on Sunday after being out since November, so the international break came at the worst possible time for Paddy Roberts.

“To be honest, the break has come at a really bad time for me. Having finally got back onto the pitch, ideally I would have wanted to kick on from that, so getting ready now for a fortnight of kicking my heels isn’t the best.

“Injuries are just a part of football and all I can do is keep working on my fitness. England Under-21s have a few games and I would normally have been away with them. But Sunday was the first time I was able to get some first-team time since the end of November, so it was too early for me to get back in.

“It is about maintaining my fitness. I will get a short break and get a chance to go and see my family, but I also want to keep on top of it. It does feel unusual. For the last four years I have been away with every England team at my age group, so it feels a bit weird to be sitting it out. It is just one of those things, but it is frustrating.”

4. A STUDENT OF THE GAME.  Teenager Kristoffer Ajer has parked his studies to concentrate on his football career and the 19 year old Norwegian admitted to being rather rebellious at Ibrox recently! Weren’t we all son?

“When you are playing in front of so many people in such a big match, you forget some rules and the people who want to keep you away from the fans. I wanted to go to a boy who stood there, that’s how it should be. I just said I should deliver a strip. There were no consequences afterwards.

“I have no idea who the boy was. I just saw that he was a young Celtic supporter who was very happy. We usually give away shirts when there are so many supporters there to support us. It’s a nice gesture.

“The Celtic fans were voted the world’s best supporters last year. It really sums up the whole atmosphere. Nothing can be compared to our home stadium. When you play there you can not communicate. It’s wild.”

“It’s not easy to combine everything. This happens to a lot of people. There is so much football just now that the medical studies are on ice. In the summer, I will hopefully complete my history exam and get good enough grades to do what I want after football. But those studies will take place when I return to Norway one day. Then I’ll have the time.”

About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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