Youngster Stephen Welsh is ready to try and bounce back from Celtic’s weekend defeat with a European start against AC Milan on Thursday night.

The defender acquitted himself well against Rangers despite being on the losing team.

At just 20 years of age, he is far from the finished product but is clearly valued by manager Neil Lennon after making his debut against Hamilton earlier in the year.

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Those are his only two appearances to date though and throwing him into the Milan match would be another big call from the manager.

Welsh feels ready for the moment, telling The Celtic View (21/10 print edition, page 7): “When you see your name on that team sheet you need to be ready. There are no excuses any more, you have to get out there and do the business.

“The Rangers match was only my second game so to play against AC Milan for my third would be a good test, but you never know until the team gets announced.

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“These are the games you want to be playing in as a kid, so you might as well play in them from the start and that’s it. It’s experience.”

Clearly, Welsh is not daunted by the challenges that lie ahead of him.

That it’s one of the junior members of the squad issuing a “no excuses” rallying cry is perhaps surprising, but it’s great to hear that the defender has the right attitude.

To put simply, it’s make-or-break time for Lennon’s Celtic.

The AC Milan match may not have much riding on it in the context of our season but at the very least a spirited performance is required.

Stephen Welsh in action against Rangers

Stephen Welsh in action for Celtic against Rangers / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Welsh looked distraught in the aftermath of the weekend’s defeat and hopefully, the rest of the squad have as much passion as him moving forward.

In other news, the son of 90s Celtic icon Pierre van Hooijdonk is tearing it up for NAC Breda right now.

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