Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Celtic Defender Staying Patient Despite Lack of Gametime: A Slow Start For The Hoops’ Summer Signing

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Pratyay Maitra
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In a recent interview, versatile Celtic defender Liam Scales has opened up on the unusual first few weeks of his Parkhead stint since completing a summer move from Shamrock Rovers. The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland prospect has been called up for international duties despite featuring only once, that too as a substitute against Raith Rovers in a League Cup fixture.

However, the youngster is not worried about his gametime just yet. He is staying patient and attuning to Ange Postecoglou’s style of play following a late move from South Dublin.

“It’s another step up in intensity with the kind of levels of fitness levels required. I just have to be patient. Once I get my opportunity, it’s important that I take it. That’s all I can really go off. I’m not really used to not playing games so it’s unusual, but I’m enjoying it. I just have to be patient and keep working hard.”

Scales told Irish outlet Pundit Arena while discussing his high-profile move.

Why It’s Been Difficult So Far For Scales As He Waits For His First Celtic Start

Postecoglou, meanwhile, has not only relied on academy winger Adam Montgomery as a makeshift during the injury absence of Greg Taylor but also deployed right fullback Josip Juranovic on the left-hand side. He even handed outcast Boli Bolingoli a surprise start against Livingston and the Irishman, in spite of featuring week in week out back in the homeland, has found himself down the pecking order since plying his trade in Scotland.

Celtic defender Liam Scales in action against Raith Rovers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: Liam Scales makes his debut for Celtic during the Premier Sports Cup Quarter-Final match between Celtic FC and Raith Rovers at Celtic Park on September 23, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

He is also capable of operating from the heart of the backline, but the gaffer has preferred the other two summer signings Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt irrespective of the frailty in deep defence that cost them time and again in close contests. Stephen Welsh is there to challenge and cover the first-team pair, whereas experienced Christopher Jullien is likely to reclaim his first-team status upon injury return.

Having said that, the young ace has enough time to excel in new surroundings. The Hoops are yet to gain momentum in the league, also their future in Europe seems uncertain after heavy defeats against Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen. They must be keen to win the Cups following a trophyless 2020-21 season and the manager, too, is not willing to rotate his options in order to allow them more minutes to build up better resilience and chemistry. Scales, therefore, should show his qualities in the training ground and keep waiting for opportunities in the forthcoming future.

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