Former Celtic captain Paul Lambert commends Ralston for Ferencvaros display

By Euan Davidson

October 20, 2021

Paul Lambert knows plenty about putting in gutsy performances for Celtic, so in a way it was no surprise to hear him praise Anthony Ralston for his display against Ferencvaros.

Ralston, again fantastic at the back for Celtic, made some crucial interventions against the Hungarians. Not least, a tackle on in-form striker Ryan Mmaee to keep Celtic in the ascendency. With Kyogo having just scored at the other end, an equaliser could’ve been a costly blow.

Not with Ralston in the defence, though. The former Academy player has thrived under manager Ange Postecoglou. As we highlighted after the game yesterday, it’s going to take some effort from Josip Juranovic to dislodge Ralston from the first team.

Lambert, working as a pundit for BT Sport last night, said:

“Ralston’s tackle [was] every bit as important as that pass [from Jota]. Absolutely brilliant cover, he never gave it up. 

“It’s worthy of a goal itself, it’s a tap-in and it’s great desire to get back. 

“You thrive on competition. The more the pressure comes on you, the better you become.  Once the lad Josip Juranovic is fit, he’ll be looking over his shoulder wondering if he’s going to keep playing. 

“If [Ralston] keeps doing that, it will be hard to take him out of the team.”

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Celtic 2-0 Ferencvaros | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 Ferencvaros | LIVE Reaction

Paul Lambert effusive in his praise for Celtic defender Anthony Ralston

Lambo, something of a virtuoso in his day, has played with and against some top players. For Borussia Dortmund, he marked Zinedine Zidane out of a Champions League final [Times]. When he was at Celtic, he had countless fantastic displays in Europe and against Rangers.

He was captain for a reason. So, his words on Anthony Ralston aren’t for nothing. It takes a lot to impress the former Bhoys skipper.

But he’s bang on. How do you take Ralston out of that Celtic team? On the right, he stopped just about everything coming his way.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

In possession, his energy was boundless, and his positioning was really clever. If the situation required him to come into the midfield, he did. When an overlap was needed for Abada, he was there to provide it.

It was perhaps his best display in a Celtic shirt yet. The numbers back it, too. He wasn’t dispossessed once, but he was able to win his duels both on the ground and in the air. Then, with his passing, he was positive and largely accurate [Fotmob].

That isn’t headline stuff, though. Preventing a gut-wrenching equaliser is. And Ralston, yet again, was there to make the difference for Celtic.

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