Irish winger Paddy McCourt has finally shown the Celtic fans what he can do with two breathtaking goals inside a week.
McCourt made the most of his first team chance with a wonder goal against Falkirk in the Scottish League club in midweek, then repeated the feat in the Premier League win over St. Mirren on Saturday after beating five players on a mazy run.
Manager Tony Mowbray was none too pleased with Celtic’s performance in the league game and has demanded an improvement in Europe this week.
Former Derry and Shamrock Rovers star McCourt is now in the running to start in Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna.
And he too knows an improvement is needed on the St. Mirren display that pushed Celtic four points clear of Rangers at the top of the table.
“To be fair, the players know themselves,” said McCourt in response to Mowbray’s criticism.
“You know when you come off if you have performed individually and as a team and if we are going to be honest, I don’t think any of us could say we were really great.
“The manager is an honest fellow and he has told me that he wants me to play every week but said that there are some things that I have to add to my game.
“He is the first to praise us when we are doing well and when we are not really at our best, he won’t be long in telling us.”
As for his latest golden goal, Northern Ireland winger McCourt added, “It was nice to get the goal but it was important that we got the three points.
“When you get the ball you see how things open up and luckily enough I don’t have to really think about it, it comes naturally and I was delighted that it ended up in the back of the net.
“I will be ready for Rapid. If I do get the chance it will be up to myself to perform again, but we will never know until I’m asked. But if I’m picked I will be doing my level best and hopefully it will be good enough.”
McCourt’s former Derry City boss Stephen Kenny believes the winger will become a big hit at Parkhead after finally getting his first team chance.
Kenny said, “It doesn’t surprise me that he beat five or six players to score last week. That’s nothing new with Paddy. He will make that sort of run at least once in every game – and how many players can you say that about?
“He’s a real throwback to yesteryear football when skill and natural talent were chosen over athleticism and stamina. He’s incredibly talented, and if he can overcome the back problems that set him back last season he can become a fan favorite at Celtic.”
Meanwhile, Celtic’s Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc has revealed he is happy to consider a new long term deal at Parkhead even though he has two years to run on his current contract.
Boruc said, “It is a great club to play for. Everybody knows how passionate the supporters and players are to win the league, so it is really good to be here. I am still really enjoying it.
“I am not thinking about changing clubs. I am quite focused on Celtic just now. If they were to come up with a new contract, I would think about that.”
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has just been appointed as the new manager of English side Lincoln City.