Former Celtic defender backs summer signing to kick on after earning teammates' respect

By Lewis Laird

August 10, 2022

Former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs has backed Hoops summer recruit Moritz Jenz to kick on after scoring his first goal for the club on Saturday.

The 23-year-old arrived at Parkhead in July, joining on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy from French side Lorient.

On Saturday, the German defender made his first competitive start for the Bhoys and scored to put Ange Postecoglou’s side back in the lead against Ross County.

Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

The centre-back couldn’t have made a better start to life in Glasgow, endearing himself to the Parkhead faithful with a solid performance and a goal at a crucial point in the game at Dingwall.

Speaking in a recent interview, former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs has backed the former Fulham academy graduate to kick on, with his goal proving to be a big confidence boost.

The ex-Hibernian boss also insisted that Jenz took a huge leap forward, earning the respect of his teammates last week, which will stand him in great stead moving forward.

He said [Glasgow Evening Times]: “It will certainly give Moritz belief. It is always, no matter who you are and how much you have been brought in for, a little amount or a large amount, important to settle as quickly as possible. That is the main thing when you join a new club. So to score such an important goal can only do him a lot of good.

“We have seen players go to all kinds of different clubs and take time to settle in. Strikers always want to score that first goal and build momentum from there. But it is the same with all players.

“They want to start off with good performances and quickly endear themselves to the fans, and he has certainly done that. It is a step in the right direction for him at the weekend. I am sure the manager will be hoping he can build on his start.

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

“Debuts can make you and break you at a club. My debut was very eventful. There is nothing you can do sometimes when decisions go against you. That was a decision that went against me.

“But the most concerning thing is performances. If you can get the right level of performances under your belt, you go a long way to settling, feeling comfortable amongst the players and also gaining the respect of the players.

“That is a big thing as well when you sign for a new club. Yes, you want to earn the respect of the fans, but you want to earn the respect of your fellow teammates. Moritz did both at the weekend and he will be in a positive frame of mind now going into the Kilmarnock match at Rugby Park this Sunday.”

Jenz will be hoping Saturday’s performance will allow him to keep his place in the side.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou now has a number of quality options to pick from in the centre of defence.

In the two games so far this season, both Stephen Welsh and Mortiz Jenz have put in strong showings, topping their performances off with a goal.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

After coming into the side for the first time on Saturday, Jenz will be hoping he has done enough to land himself another start at Rugby Park this weekend.

He certainly faces a tough challenge to keep that spot, with Welsh and Carl Starfelt both returning to full fitness ahead of the trip to Kilmarnock.

It should be interesting to see which partnership Ange Postecoglou decides to go with. However, you would imagine Jenz has earned the right to keep his place and will have the confidence to kick on from here as a Celtic player.

In other news, Celtic supporters set for first glimpse of innovative Champions League VAR technology.