Celtic loanee praised by new manager after dramatic and thrilling debut

By John McGinley

February 12, 2023

Celtic youngster Ewan Otoo was given a difficult task on Saturday afternoon, thrown into a debut for Dunfermline half an hour into their epic comeback win away to Airdrie.

Otoo has joined the Pars on a loan until the end of the season, with that deal confirmed just a couple of days ago. The defender only took part in one training session with his new teammates before his first appearance.

The 20-year-old then helped his team come from three goals down to eventually win 4-3, with James McPake full of praise for the player after the full-time whistle.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Otoo shows ‘adaptability’

Speaking to his club’s official website, he said: “He showed his adaptability against Airdrie. He came on in midfield, he then went left of a back three. He is a good player, a great kid, and he is not somebody that I don’t know.

“I didn’t know him personally but he played against my youth team and I had watched him plenty. Obviously with the connection to Darren I had spoken to Darren and watched most of Celtic B’s games.

“I have known him since he was seventeen. I am very friendly with Darren who is the Celtic B manager. Ewan was the Celtic B captain and I have tried to get him for the past month. We eventually got it over the line and again a thank you to the club for that.

“We are delighted to get him in and I wasn’t hoping to throw him on to a game like that but when he went on it didn’t phase him. When he gave the ball away but he was trying the right thing, I don’t mind that.

“I will never criticise the players for trying to do the right thing but if you don’t run about and you don’t fight or when you are on your knees you don’t try and get back up then of course I am going to criticise them because it is not something that me, Dave and the rest of the coaching staff will accept.”

Big chance in promotion-chasing team

Otoo has been a regular for the B Team in the Lowland League this term but this loan spell will give him the chance to play football at a higher level under someone that O’Dea clearly trusts.

Dunfermline are currently pushing for promotion and sit top of Scottish League One, so the run-in will be a good test of his nerves, too.

His contract at Celtic doesn’t expire until 2024 so he still has a chance to make progress within the Bhoys set-up before a final decision is made on his long-term prospects.

The best of luck to him for the remainder of the season!

In other news, Celtic Scottish Cup QF draw; line-up, time, dates and broadcast details.