Scott Bain believes Celtic’s lack of goalkeeping continuity has affected the shot-stoppers and the team as a whole.
The former Dundee and Hibs goalkeeper had a tricky task this afternoon. He was sent in front of the media and had to do his best not to contradict his manager. It was a thankless task, and he did his best to avoid saying anything too controversial.
But Celtic have struggled to identify a consistent number one this season. At differing stages during the first half of the campaign, all three of Vasilis Barkas, Bain, and Conor Hazard have been given opportunities to be the regular first-choice.
After a poor couple of games by Barkas, Bain is now back in the sticks. But even so, he still believes the general lack of a consistent number one has had an effect. He now hopes that he can put together a run of form and stake his claim.
Speaking at today’s pre-match media conference for Kilmarnock, Bain said: “Possibly. It’s probably difficult for the goalkeeper. It’s probably difficult for the team. That’s why I’m saying now hopefully I can put together a run of games, we can get some continuity and understanding.
“Hopefully for myself, I can build confidence, start making the right decisions in games each week as it goes. For me, it’s the old cliche of one game at a time.
“If I can put a run of games together and start building confidence and get back to the levels I’ve performed at before, I know I’m capable of staying in the team.”
Bain, Barkas and Hazard haven’t been good enough to nail down Celtic place
In all honesty, the truth is that not one of the three has done enough. Barkas and Bain have had regular opportunities but have individually woeful clean sheet records this term.
Greek summer-signing Barkas only has nine clean sheets in 20 appearances. Some may look and think that’s not bad, but considering three came against Reykjavik, Riga, and Sarajevo, it’s hardly impressive. He’s conceded seven goals in two Europa League matches, and 11 in 13 league games [Transfermarkt].
Bain, meanwhile, isn’t much better. He’s conceded a ridiculous 19 goals in nine appearances this term. He’s managed one solitary clean sheet – last week’s 2-0 win vs Hamilton [Transfermarkt].
Hazard has shown some promise and effectively won Lennon the Scottish Cup against Hearts with two fine penalty saves. But trouble in commanding his penalty area has led to several costly mistakes during his brief stint as number one also.
It’s interesting that even Bain acknowledged the problem a lack of consistency has brought. It does nothing for team chemistry to be chopping and changing your goalkeeper. And let’s not pretend Bain is going to keep his place either. Another few goals conceded and he’ll be swapped for Hazard no doubt.
The decision-making just makes no sense. But hey, we’ve all been saying that all season. It’s good to see players also acknowledgee the negative effect this has on the team – albeit briefly.