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CELTIC STAR REVEALS SHOCK INSPIRATION

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CRAIG GORDON has revealed St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright is his inspiration as he ponders a career in management once he hangs up the gloves.

However, the Scotland international keeper, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Hogmanay, insisted he is NOT is a rush to quit as a performer on the pitch.

Before joining the Hoops in the summer of 2014 and eventually taking over from £10million Southampton-bound Fraser Forster, Gordon had a coaching stint with Dumbarton as he recovered from the complicated knee and shoulder injuries that almost ended his playing days.

But the former Hearts and Sunderland No.1 is looking to the future and former Northern Ireland international goalie Wright’s work at the Perth club is proving to be highly interesting to the Hoops star.

He said: “I want to focus entirely on my playing career, to get as much out of it as I possibly can. But in the next few years it is something I will look that.

“There are very few goalkeepers who make the transition into management.

POINT-BLANK SAVE…Craig Gordon denies Belgian superstar Eden Hazard from close range at Hampden last year.

“You see how organised Tommy Wright’s team is, they are hard to beat.

“As time goes by, more and more people are realising how the goalkeeper role is changing.

“It is becoming much more part of the team, people are starting to realise goalkeepers have a good knowledge of more than one position on the pitch and could definitely make that transition into management.”

Gordon, currently with the champions at their warm weather training camp in Dubai, is looking forward to the second half of an intriguing campaign. And he reckons the Parkhead side’s experience will help them as they aim for their eighth successive Premiership title.

They sit alongside Rangers on 42 points at the moment although Brendan Rodgers’ men have a superior goal difference and a game in hand.

INSPIRATIONAL…St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright encourages his players as Brendan Rodgers looks on during Celtic’s 1-0 Betfred League Cup win at Perth in September. Pics: Geo.

Kilmarnock and Aberdeen are also in contention and Gordon acknowledged: “It is very condensed and for everybody else that is quite exciting.

“I think it brings the pressure to everybody. There is a lot to play for a number of teams, all the clubs will be under pressure.

“Being at Celtic, we are used to that having being up there for a considerable period of time.

“I can only see that benefiting us, to go into the second half of the season with the knowledge we can compete and get the job done.”

Gordon added: “To get to this point top of the league, still in Europe and having won the League Cup, on paper we couldn’t have done any more than that, really.

“We are happy with that, but want to continue to improve and put in a good showing during the second half of the season.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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