Celtic exile Jack Hendry gets Scotland start against Austria; Christie also included

By Euan Davidson

March 25, 2021

What a year it’s been for Jack Hendry, Celtic exile.

He didn’t ever look comfortable in the Green and White. However, according to BBC Radio Scotland, he’s set to start for Steve Clarke tonight against Austria.

The KV Oostende loanee’s place was confirmed by the Scotland national team starting alongside ex-Celtic man Kieran Tierney and on-form centre-back Grant Hanley.

Across the pitch, there’s more Celtic intrigue. Former Celts David Marshall and Stuart Armstrong feature from the start. Also, Ryan Christie will begin the game just behind ex-Livi striker Lyndon Dykes. The Bhoys theme continues, with ex-Academy player Andy Robertson captaining. Transfer miss John McGinn is also, of course, featuring for Clarke.

Feeling confident

It’s been quite the turnaround for Jack Hendry. We’ve spoken about the Jupiler Pro League star on many occasions this season. From infamy as a “bomb scare”, the ex-Dundee man is said to be interesting Premier League sides. The likes of Aston Villa and Burnley are reportedly considering bids.

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Hendry’s most recent comments were quite revealing. Insisting that he’s improved due to a higher standard in Belgium, he told the BBC:

“Out there in Belgium, if you look at the league, there are some top teams in it and even the teams you might not know, they’ve got good quality forward players. That’s what you want as a defender to bring on your game – to be facing top-quality strikers week-in week-out and I feel I’ve been doing that in Belgium.”

“Playing against international strikers, it maybe helps coming to a squad like this that I’m used to playing at that level and feel I can play at that level and go further.”

Jack Hendry in action for Celtic / (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

From Wigan Athletic to Euro 2020? Jack Hendry start is very interesting

This is the biggest test of Hendry’s resurgence so far.

Starring in a back-three, alongside Tierney as a centre-back, Hendry has massive responsibilities. Keeping a very decent Austria team quiet will be a huge challenge. The Austrians can call upon the likes of Sabitzer, Alaba and Kaladjic to cause problems.

Steve Clarke, heavily linked with the Celtic job, has continually refused to rule out a move. The Scottish hero, formerly of Chelsea and St Mirren, is said to be a boyhood Celtic fan. Certainly, you could argue that he’s shown a preference for Hoops players past and present tonight.

From Wigan Athletic to the Euros? If the Celtic exile can make an impact tonight, there’s no stopping his upward trajectory.

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