Thursday 27 June 2019

Celtic supporters make Gamboa a happy Bhoy after return to form

DELIGHT: Celtic’s Cristian Gamboa Pic: Getty
DELIGHT: Celtic’s Cristian Gamboa Pic: Getty

Cristian Gamboa was delighted to hear the Celtic fans chant his name in Saturday's 3-1 League Cup last-16 win at Partick Thistle.

The Costa Rica right-back has mostly played second fiddle to Mikael Lustig since arriving at the Glasgow club from West Brom in 2016.

The 28-year-old was one of six changes made by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers for the short trip to Maryhill and he reminded the Hoops supporters of his value by assisting both substitute Moussa Dembele and midfielder Tom Rogic for their goals, soon after Jags attacker Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo had levelled Leigh Griffiths' opener.

The travelling fans' appreciation of his efforts was music to Gamboa's ears as he told Celtic TV: "It was really nice, especially as my wife and kids were there with the Celtic fans, so it was nice.

"I always say it, my family feel happy here and I also feel happy to be around this fantastic club and I hope it can go on.


"I have been working hard to get this chance so it was nice to be involved and get two assists.

"It is nice to be back on the pitch and helping the team."

Griffiths will look to join the Celtic century club against FK Suduva in the first-leg of the Europa League play-off clash on Thursday night.

The Hoops striker took his tally at the Parkhead club to 99 against the Jags and ahead of the journey to Lithuania, the Scotland striker said: "Obviously I got the goal early and I was thinking one more chance and I'll try and put it away but it wasn't to be.

"I'll look forward to Thursday and if I get a chance, I'll try and stick it away and get to 100."

Griffiths was replaced by Dembele in the second-half and while keen to retain his place, he was also pleased to see the highly-rated French striker continue his return to fitness after a spell on the sidelines.

He said: "Moussa's just back from injury and I think the gaffer was just easing him back in.

"It was great to see him back out there and fully fit. Obviously as a striker you want to be selfish but you want your best players available and it's great to have him back."

Celtic's win over the Jags at Firhill saw them return to winning ways following successive defeats and the end of their UEFA Champions League dream this season.

And Griffiths has backed the Bhoys to confound the critics and deliver another season of success as they target a third consecutive domestic treble in Scotland.

"If people want to doubt us that's fine," he said.

"Over the past couple of seasons, it seems that everyone keeps doubting us and how far we can go, and we've proved everyone wrong, winning everything domestically and we'll be going for the clean sweep again this season."

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