Jackie McNamara: Celtic are all set for goalkeepers

By David Walton

July 7, 2019

Jackie McNamara namedropped Conor Hazard as he claimed Celtic are all good in the goalkeeping position.

The Hoops haven’t been linked with any fresh shot-stoppers this summer. It looks like there’s a reason for that too when you look at their current situation in between the sticks.

Scott Bain continues to be the number one at the club. His fine form helped Celtic clinch the treble treble, but it was also set-up nicely by Craig Gordon during the first half of the campaign. Between them, the duo made a total of 63 appearances last season, and both remain top quality goalkeepers.

Scott Bain claimed the Celtic goalkeeping jersey last summer (Ivan Arlandis/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And that’s exactly why McNamara feels Celtic don’t need a third. Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-Celt stated Hazard is also there as a number three if necessary.

“I don’t think they need another goalkeeper unless Craig’s going to be out injured. I don’t think they need another one because they’re going to have to keep them happy, the two of them fighting for their place.

“And the young lad, Conor Hazard, who played the other night. He’s been on loan.

“Scott seems to have the number one jersey at the moment but that can change quickly. He’s fit and he’s got the jersey, if Craig Gordon was fit then we’d maybe know a bit more when Neil picks his team.”

Conor Hazard clearly impressing Neil Lennon

It’s fair to say that Lennon must be a fan of Celtic youth prospect Hazard. He gave him a half against Pinkafeld in the first pre-season game of the summer. Unfortunately, Hazard made a bit of a clanger as he gifted the Austrian fourth-tier outfit the opening goal.

Those kinds of mistakes are what pre-season is for, however. But in the bigger picture, it’s difficult to see how he gets any form of game-time with Bain and Gordon slugging it out. That’s in no way trying to demean Hazard’s talent, but just the reality of the situation.

Conor Hazard is rated highly at Parkhead (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But Hazard isn’t the only goalkeeper in the youth ranks looking to catch the eye either. Celtic have Ryan Mullen and Ross Doohan in there who’ll also want to challenge for that third-placed spot in the goalkeeping ranks.

In truth, Celtic could do with sanctioning a loan move for a couple if possible. Considering the reserve squad’s plans are up in the air as it stands, it makes sense for the Hoops to get as many out as they can.

Could Craig Gordon win his place back this season? (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But Hazard is certainly heading the pack with his appearance in pre-season. Whether he manages a competitive one for this season remains doubtful, but you never know.

Celtic certainly don’t need a new shot-stopper as it stands unless we look to upgrade on Bain. But there are no signs of that as of yet, and don’t expect it either.