David Moyes backs young Celtic defence, bullish about UCL chances, praises Bhoys fans

By John McGinley

July 25, 2021

West Ham United manager David Moyes thinks Celtic have a good chance of progressing against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League this Wednesday.

Moyes was delighted by his team’s 6-2 victory of course, but after the game spoke plenty about the Celtic situation.

A very inexperienced central defensive pairing went up against a strong Hammers attacker and Moyes was quick to preach patience with their development after the game.

The former Man United man pointed to ballooning transfer prices as a reason to invest time in Celtic’s young talents.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Moyes said: “I’ve played here and I know what it’s like. You have to have great big you-know-whats to play for Celtic, especially if you’re a young centre-back. So you have to be patient with them.

“Centre-backs are really hard to get anywhere now. If you look at the level and the prices you will probably see over the next month or so of people trying to buy centre-backs – you see Ben White going to Arsenal for £50million.

“To get good quality ones is really difficult so it means you are going to have to give young players the chance to develop and hope they improve.”

Wednesday will be the biggest test for both Dane Murray and Stephen Welsh yet. However, Moyes clearly thinks it’s worth persevering with them, even though it’s not an ideal situation at the moment.

Who knows? It could just well be the making of them. At least they are unlikely to let the team down like Nir Bitton.

Clearly, yesterday’s 6-2 defeat wasn’t ideal preparation, but Moyes sees no reason why the Bhoys can’t get themselves through against Midtjylland.

He continued: “I thought Celtic played very well and for the first 30 minutes – they missed a couple, we missed a couple.

“They were more a bit more into the games than we were but we have some power and pace up front that can cause a lot of problems.

“But I think Celtic will have a good chance to go through in midweek because I thought they showed some good stuff.”

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Finally, Moyes had some kind words for the Celtic support. Only 18,500 were in attendance for the friendly, but the atmosphere at the start of the game was raucous.

The Premier League boss was impressed, stating: “It was good to come back here. When they said there were about 18,000 here, I thought they sounded like 60,000 at the start of the game.

“Celtic supporters don’t give up on the team, they will wait for their time and their opportunity.”

The supporters are going to be absolutely key to helping this Celtic team this season. I get the feeling the players and manager are going to be backed as underdogs, with any anger reserved for those higher up at the club.

In other news, Saturday Owen Moffat goal really caught the eye of Celtic supporters.