Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli has been speaking about the challenges of his first few months at the club.
The Belgian switched the green of Rapid Vienna for that of Celtic in early July. He was thrust into his competitive debut barely a week later as the Hoops faced FK Sarajevo in Bosnia.
The 24-year-old has since gone on to play in 12 of Celtic’s 13 matches so far this season – making as many starts as any other Hoops player.
Bolingoli has started to find his feet in recent weeks with his Ibrox performance arguably his best so far. And he insists it’s all down to focussing on the positives, even in tough times.
“When I arrived I had to be ready right away,” Bolingoli told the official Celtic website. “There were very important, competitive games before the league season had even begun so as a new player coming here you need to be perfect from the beginning.
“I was playing games right away and you need to show your qualities when you come to a new club. The fans expect to see your qualities immediately, and that’s normal.
“It’s important to stay positive and calm while working hard. If you surround yourself with positive people, work hard and believe in yourself then you will achieve your potential.
“There will always be negativity, so you need to focus on the positives. The only effect the negative things should have on you is to give you more motivation to succeed.”
Bolingoli has become a cult hero amongst the Celtic support
Make no mistake about it, Bolingoli has already weathered a bit of a Celtic storm. The left-back was written off in his early days at the club following a couple of high-profile errors in European matches. Many felt that Neil Lennon’s decision to drop him in the home tie against Cluj had ended his hopes of being a success in Glasgow. How wrong could they be?
Since the Cluj debacle Bolingoli has looked impressive in a Celtic defence that has conceded no goals from open play in their last four matches. He is growing with every game and will be stronger mentally for his early challenge.
There’s a feeling that there’s a good player in there somewhere. He perhaps just needs a little more time to make it happen. The fact he now has another left-back vying for the spot and taking some of the pressure off him can only be good too.