Exclusive: Scott McDonald backing James McCarthy to be a Celtic success despite "contentious rumours"

By David Walton

October 13, 2021

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has stated his belief that James McCarthy will still come good at Parkhead despite the “contentious rumours” that have surrounded him.

McCarthy has struggled to get up to speed fitness-wise since arriving in the summer. Despite making his debut against Hearts back in mid-August, he’s yet to cement a place in Ange Postecoglou’s starting XI.

After a disappointing performance against Livingston last month, a report from claimed that he wasn’t actually a Postecoglou signing and that he was struggling with the manager’s demands in training [The Athletic].

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

But former Hoops title-winner McDonald believes McCarthy can still turn things around. Speaking exclusively to 67HailHail, Scott said the following:

“It is still early days, there have been those contentious rumours in the press that Ange didn’t select him and he’s struggled with the pace of the training and whatnot. It’s all hearsay, I can’t comment on those things. That’s just the things that are out there and you hear. But you would like to see him get a run. He’s a quality player from what we’ve seen previous to now.

“He played a lot of games at Crystal Palace last year. It’s not like he’s come off the back of not playing a lot of games. If you look at his stats from last year, it’s probably the most games he’s played for quite a few seasons. It’s just a case of getting him up to speed. Or, because he did play those games, are we seeing because he’s getting a little bit older, that he can’t keep up to the speeds that Ange is wanting.

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Things should be about to get a lot better for Celtic | With Scott McDonald

Things should be about to get a lot better for Celtic | With Scott McDonald
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“But you’d like to still think he could come on and be effective for Celtic with his quality. Hopefully, we’ll see more of him.”

James McCarthy needs to start proving he deserves a spot at Celtic Park

When McCarthy signed, the plan wasn’t for him to still be adjusting to life come mid-October. He’s now been here for over two months and it’s clear things aren’t going the way any of us would’ve liked.

However, he also has a four-year deal at Celtic Park. That means he still has plenty of time to come good and make an impact. Celtic will undoubtedly have plenty of faith in their investment too, and rightly so.

McCarthy comes to Celtic Park with over a decade of experience in the English Premier League. The Hoops are getting both a quality player and a leader packed with top-level experience. We haven’t even spoken about his 42 international caps with the Republic of Ireland either [Transfermarkt].

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Nobody can say for certain why it isn’t working out. Yes there have been some setbacks for him over the summer. But given he’s been working with the manager for over two months, we would’ve hoped to have seen some improvement.

Fans will almost certainly start running out of patience if we don’t see a major improvement after the current international break. He’s had another fortnight to work on his game and find the levels he needs to make an impact in Glasgow.

For the time being, he still has major backing from the Celtic support. Time will tell whether he can repay it.

In other news, Celtic youngster Rocco Vata lauded by Irish media after U17 displays