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New Bhoy Kayal happier out of spotlight

Beram Kayal became an instant fans' favourite after a brilliant Celtic debut but insists it has never been his aim to stand out from the crowd.

The Israeli midfielder, signed in the summer from Maccabi Haifa, was Celtic's most influential performer in Thursday's 2-0 Europa League home win over Utrecht meaning the Parkhead faithful took an instant liking to him.

He is poised to make his Scottish Premier League debut for the Hoops against St Mirren tomorrow, but, while the plaudits are already coming Kayal's way, he is keen to avoid them for now.

He said: "I'm very happy, but the only reason for that is because we won the game against Utrecht. I like to work for the team. I feel really good here and the crowd were good towards me.

"I got an assist for one of the goals, but that's not important, it's about working for the team. If you set up a goal or score one, it's just a bonus.

"All through my career, I have trained hard and tried to work more at my game to improve. The supporters weren't just cheering me, they were supporting everyone.

"We are only eleven, but they are the 12th man. It was nice to hear their backing for the whole side.

"I want to be successful, of course, but the work I do is for the team and for the result. It doesn't matter that I play well, just that we win.

"I already feel very comfortable playing with this team. The league is different to Israel so I know I have to play hard and try hard."


Kayal may be reluctant to take the acclaim, but his manager, Neil Lennon, was only too keen to applaud what he claimed was one of the best Celtic debuts he has ever clapped eyes on.

Lennon has a number of options in midfield after his summer recruitment drive, but Kayal, much more than just the holding midfielder he was portrayed on arrival, could yet emerge as one of the first names on his team-sheet after making an instant impression.

Lennon said: "Beram started the game very well. His tackling, his decisiveness, his quality on the ball and ability to get it to the strikers' feet quickly and to try and take control of the game for us.

"We knew he had that in his game, it was whether he could replicate that in a match situation, but under pressure he showed all of those qualities on Thursday night.

"It was a very good debut, one of the better ones I've seen for a while."