Stephen Welsh praised his manager Brendan Rodgers and teammate Liam Scales at his pre-match media conference ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie against Highland league side Buckie Thistle at Celtic Park.
The defender also bemoaned his own misfortune with injuries this season and talked up the Celtic team’s finish to 2023 after a few disappointing results against Kilmarnock and Hearts.
“As always, we are raring to go. Everybody had a good break. I think we finished the first half of the season very well. We went through a sticky patch for a couple of weeks where results didn’t go our way but the last two weeks before the break I thought our performances were excellent, especially theRangers and St Mirren games,” the Celtic defender said.
“The performances that we put in during those two games were first class and we got the results we deserved in the end. We are raring to go and back defending our Scottish Cup. It’s been a tough week and the boys are looking forward to getting back playing,” Welsh said.
“This league has a break for a few weeks and it is all about recharging your batteries. You get a week away and some of the boys go on holiday. It is like a mini pre-season when you come back and the training has been really tough but it is good for us to get back into the swing of things and back into the routine of working out way through until the summer and finishing the season well.”
On his own season so far, the former Scotland Under 21 captain bemoaned his own luck in what has been a stop-start campaign for the Coatbridge Bhoy.
“There have been a few lows. I got a bad injury right at the start of the season and I had to get surgery on that which kept me out for four to five months.
“I came back and did well and played the last Champions League game against Feyenoord. It is just about continuing to work hard and whenever you get a chance at this club you need to take it, especially when it comes to the business end of the season for us. This is a time when we start to play football.”
Welsh is wholesome in his praise for the Celtic manager and fully appreciates the faith that Brendan Rodgers has always shown in him.
“The gaffer has been class for me. He just put me into both the Feyenoord and (the)Rangers games and if I know that he trusts me to go and play then makes things ten times easier. I have got a lot of good players around me. To go in and do a job for him, he makes it easy for you and the quality I have around me helps as well.”
Liam Scales is having the season that every central defender at Celtic would dream about but it’s the Irishman who is living the dream this season and Welsh for one is absolutely delighted for his teammate.
“Scalesy has been one of our best players this season. The consistency in his performances has been great. I think he said it himself that he probably thought he wouldn’t be here at the start of the season. He came in and played in big games and one of his first games was over at Ibrox and that performance he put in was incredible. He has continued that. It’s all well and good playing a couple of good games but he has done it for a good few months in a row and he has been excellent,” Welsh added.
“I am delighted for him because every day at training he puts the work in and his weekend displays speak for themselves this season.”
Watch Stephen Welsh’s media conference below…