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BAIN READY FOR GLOVE BATTLE

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SCOTT BAIN has played in every competitive game in 2019 for Celtic – but does NOT accept he is an automatic first choice for Neil Lennon.

The keeper took over from Craig Gordon for the opening Scottish Cup-tie against Airdrie on January 19 and kept a clean sheet in the 3-0 win at Parkhead.

Bain remained in place for the remaining 24 matches in all competitions for the remainder of the campaign.

And Lennon has handed him the No.1 position for the two Champions League qualifiers against the Bosnians of FK Sarajevo where the Hoops won through to the next stage on a 5-2 aggregate.

The Scotland international, who agreed a permanent deal with the eight-in-a-row champions a year ago after coming out of contract at Dundee following a six-month loan spell, is taking nothing for granted in the battle for the gloves with Gordon in the new campaign.

Bain, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “I wouldn’t say I feel 
established as our No.1. No-one at Celtic, with the
 possible exception of Scott Brown, can say they’re always guaranteed to start.

“It’s great to have someone like Craig pushing me to make sure I’m at the highest standard possible.

“Right now it’s just a case of trying to put in solid performances.

“We’ve only had two competitive games so far and, once the cobwebs are away, I’m sure the team will be flying.

“My role has changed slightly under the manager. We’ve tried to look a bit longer in terms of distribution and not invite so much pressure on us.

“The games have been good for me because I knew what my new role would be.

“I can look into the second and third lines, longer passes, that take pressure off the boys and get them playing further up the pitch. That’s another aspect of the game I enjoy.”

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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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