Craig Gordon’s position at the club should mean that the shot-stopper is itching for a chance to put on a show tonight.
Neil Lennon confirmed at his presser yesterday that the Scotland international will feature tonight against Cluj (Celtic TV). Whilst he didn’t confirm that he would start the game, you can’t see him coming on as a substitute in Romania.
And interestingly it comes only days after Fraser Forster produced a one-man show to down Rangers in the Betfred Cup. The Hoops’ first-choice goalkeeper was praised to the heavens for his performance by the supporters. Even though we played poorly, he certainly came out shining.
How Gordon could do with an evening like that tonight. Whilst we hardly have the same level of reward to play for in Cluj that we did on Sunday, it’s still a Europa League group-stage match. There is plenty of pride on the line tonight.
Gordon will be itching to remind everyone of what he can do. Considering he’s into the final few months of his contract (Transfermarkt), this is almost a chance for him to throw himself into the shop window.
Stats don’t lie
So far this season, he’s only managed five appearances (Transfermarkt). Four of those came before Forster had even signed with the club, whilst the fifth was in a Betfred Cup match against Partick Thistle back in September.
Even if Gordon wanted to stay and be the number two goalkeeper, Scott Bain would appear to be ahead of him. The former Dundee stopper signed a new four-year contract back on Halloween. His future at Parkhead is secured and was preferred to Gordon at the start of the season.
This could very well be his last game in a Celtic jersey tonight if he is for the off in January. Whilst no links to any clubs have been reported, there’s still a chance he could want a fresh move given his current squad situation in Glasgow.
His reputation will always attract interest. Gordon is, after all, an experienced goalkeeper with plenty of success under his belt. But a man-of-the-match display, or at the very least a standout performance, will be a timely reminder of his abilities as we tick towards January.
Lenny is quite right to take Fraser out of that spotlight tonight and give Gordon the platform to impress. It’s fair to say he needs it more.
And that’s will be why he’ll be itching for Cluj to get plenty of openings tonight. It’s the only way he can put on a Forster-like show.