Celtic defender Nat Phillips has offered a reassuring fitness update as he closes in on his debut for the club.
The Englishman was unable to make his Hoops bow in the recent derby win at Ibrox. Phillips had just been signed by the club but the dire state of our centre-back options had many suggesting that he should be thrown straight into the action.
As it was, he had just a watching brief as Liam Scales and Gustaf Lagerbielke kept Rangers out to secure a vital 1-0 Premiership win.
Phillips’ absence was explained by Brendan Rodgers after the game, with the Celtic boss seeming to suggest that Liverpool weren’t keen for him to play at Ibrox after so little recent football. However, there seems to be no concern now as Phillips gets set to feature against Dundee this weekend.
“I’m now just itching to go and get into the games,” he told The Herald on Wednesday.
“I’m fit and ready to play now. I have had two weeks of training under my belt so we’ll see if I can get a game at the weekend. But I’m feeling good.
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“The Rangers game just came a bit soon, that’s all it was. There was some talk about maybe playing but the important thing was the team got the win.”
So Phillips is fit and ready to play. He has had a fortnight to meet the majority of his new team-mates and get up to speed at Lennoxtown.
With big Champions League challenges firmly on the horizon, and Cameron Carter-Vickers set to be missing for the next few weeks at least, Phillips may actually be about to take on a senior role in that Celtic defence.
He is the only fit centre-back who has prior experience of the Champions League group stage. He’s also three years older than Gustaf Lagerbielke, his likely centre-back partner for the Feyenoord game.
Let’s hope he can start with a reassuring performance if selected against Dundee.