Celtic defender Liam Scales has been detailing his next steps after his breakthrough performance at Ibrox on Sunday.
It seems a little strange to use the word ‘breakthrough’ for a player who was signed more than two years ago. But the performance in the win over Rangers was undoubtedly Scales‘ best so far in a Celtic shirt.
The Irishman started a little nervously alongside Gustaf Lagerbielke but grew as the game went on, eventually being named as man of the match by broadcasters Sky Sports.
In truth, it was Lagerbielke who looked the more error-ridden in a new Celtic centre-back partnership.
“All I can do is do my best,” Scales said after the match to the Daily Record. “I need to make it difficult for the manager and just put in good performances.
“And if I can keep clean sheets in every game I play, put in good performances, defend well and be good on the ball, then I will give him a headache at least.
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“That’s all I am looking at now. It’s just taking it game by game, doing as well as I can just to make him have a decision to make.
“Maybe if there weren’t a couple of injuries I wouldn’t have got this chance. But it’s great to be in this position and I have to make the most of it.
“He trusts me and how I can play. I have had a full pre-season to get used to the style of play, so that was it – just go in and play my game.”
There’s a lot to admire about Scales and his honestly. He clearly knows his current role in the squad and where he is likely to be placed once the injured central-defenders return.
Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, Stephen Welsh and new signing Nat Phillips all didn’t feature in the match day squad at Ibrox. With Lagerbielke and Yuki Kobayashi also in the mix, that’s a lot of bodies for Scales to battle with for game time.
The likelihood is that the former Shamrock Rovers man struggles for minutes going forward. With Feyenoord just our second match after returning, you’d think Brendan Rodgers would want to have the experienced Nat Phillips in alongside Lagerbielke.
Carter-Vickers will undoubtedly come back to start at some stage while Nawrocki may be viewed as the second best option.
Scales was signed as a left-back in 2021. With Greg Taylor and Alexandro Bernabei failing to hit the heights so far this season, perhaps that could be his best avenue for game time.
Let’s hope he finds a way to kick on after Sunday’s excellent performance.
In other news, deflection tactics get desperate after Celtic triumph