Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

McCourt desperate for Celtic return to action

Lisa Gray

Paddy McCourt admits Celtic are desperate to face Hamilton in the SPL this weekend as they bid to make amends for their recent indifferent form.

Severe weather conditions means the Hoops have been denied match action for almost three weeks, and on their last outing they were held to a 2-2 draw by Inverness after squandering a two-goal lead at Celtic Park.

Neil Lennon's men were also forced to settle for a point in their previous outing against Dundee United and are keen to return to winning ways in tomorrow's lunch-time kick-off at New Douglas Park.

Rangers' game against St Mirren has been postponed due to significant water damage at Ibrox, meaning Celtic have the chance to move level with their Old Firm rivals at the top of the SPL if they take all three points from Accies.

"Everybody's looking forward to the game," said McCourt, who celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday.


"It'll be three weeks on Saturday since we've had a game and obviously the last game we played ended on a sour note, throwing away a two-goal lead, so we're all desperate to get back out there, but Hamilton's a hard place to go and win."

McCourt has been troubled by injuries since joining Celtic, but insists he is now in the best shape of his career. And the winger has backed himself to have a part to play as Celtic continue their push to wrest the title from Rangers' grasp.

"I'm feeling great at the moment. I'm as fit as I've ever been in my career and I'm really enjoying my football," he said. "I'm just hoping to cement my place in the team and help them push on. Heading into the new year it's a really important time for us and we want to get on a winning run again."

The former Derry City star handed Lennon another reminder of what can do by netting a wonder goal against Inverness. But McCourt says that counts for nothing as far he's concerned after Celtic failed to secure the victory.

"As much as it's nice to score at Celtic Park, I can't look back and enjoy it now," he said. "I did enjoy scoring it at the time, but because we threw away a good position, it doesn't mean anything to me."

Irish Independent

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