Sunday 23 October 2016

Rodgers has no fears over Irish Bhoy Eoghan

Celtic’s Eoghan O’Connell. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters
Celtic’s Eoghan O’Connell. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says he will have no fears about putting Cork lad Eoghan O'Connell into the Bhoys defence for their tricky Champions League test in Kazakhstan today.

Celtic are away to FC Astana (3pm Irish time) in the first leg of their third round qualifying tie, and an injury crisis in defence may force Rodgers to put 20-year-old O'Connell in for his European debut.

O'Connell rejoined Celtic earlier this summer after injury cut short a spell on loan to Cork City but while he has only four SPL starts on his CV, as well as his experience with home-town club Cork, Rodgers says he has faith.

"I have been really impressed with him over the course of the pre-season," says Rodgers, after seeing the youngster score against Leicester City last weekend. "He is a good size, first and foremost he wants to defend and in the short period I have worked with him, he is good in the air.

"He has been in and around the first team for a few years now. For a young player, if they show those qualities and professionalism I never have any fears of putting him in," added the Antrim native ahead of that big Euro test.

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