BOOKIE BASHING Dedryck Boyata today received praise from Celtic’s Assistant Manager Chris Davies although the Parkhead stadium bookie is still licking his wounds after the big Belgian grabbed the only goal of the game for the second successive midweek against Aberdeen on Wednesday.

After gifting the Celtic fans at 28/1 for the first goal against St Johnstone, they repeated their mistake against the Dons, so no wonder there were so many happy punters as Brendan Rodgers pushed Dedrych onto centre stage at the end of the Aberdeen game which saw Celtic extend their lead to an incredible 25 points.

Davies was full of praise for the player today. “He had been out the team completely for a long period but there have been numerous examples in Brendan’s managerial career where players have done exactly what Dedryck has done – stay professional, work hard, retain that inner belief if you are not playing, and take on the advice that the manager is delivering to them in terms of what the manager wants from his players in each position. That’s exactly what Dedryck has done.

“He has trained and listened and, although he hasn’t been playing the games, he has been training every day and developing as we try and make training competitive and make it a development environment, where even in training we are talking to the players about what we want from them in each position. In the background he has been developing.

“The manager has been very clear from what he wants from him when he plays, and I’m delighted for him personally because he has been really professional throughout and he has taken his chance. That’s the great thing about football.

“There have been examples previously at Swansea and Liverpool, where the manager will demand a level but the door will never be shut. If a player can take on what he has been told and perform to a level then they will always get another chance and that’s a great example to the whole squad.

“Every player will tell you that confidence is so important,” Davies stated. “We believe in him and he has found that real confidence and scoring a couple of goals from the set-plays is great as well because it’s an important role for a defender to be a threat in the opposition’s box as well.

“He’s definitely playing with confidence now, which all the players want, and he’s in a good place right now so I’m happy for him.”

When Celtic head to Perth on Sunday lunchtime the bookies are sure to have reduced their odds on Celtic’s brilliant Belgian grabbing the opening goal.

Maybe Joey Barton will have a few bob on him too…




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