JEREMIE FRIMPONG is adamant he can cope with the pressure as Celtic enter the crucial second half of a campaign that could see them complete a phenomenal quadruple treble.
The 19-year-old Dutch defender has hit the ground running at the eight-in-a-row champions since putting in a Man-of-the-Match performance on his debut in the 5-0 Betfred League Cup quarter-final victory over Partick Thistle at Parkhead in September.
Frimpong won his first medal before playing 10 first team games when he played in the 1-0 Betfred Final success over Rangers last month where he was red-carded in the 64th minute.
He was booked in the holders’ 2-1 Scottish Cup victory over the same opponents at Firhill on Saturday night as referee Alan Muir made a highly dubious decision in awarding the Championship side a penalty-kick in the fading moments..
After his initial first-team breakthrough, boss Neil Lennon admitted he couldn’t leave him out following a sequence of stunning displays.
CRUNCH…Jeremie Frimpong and Rangers defender Borna Barisic duel for possession during the Betfred League Cup Final.
Injury to Israeli international No.2 Hatem Abd Elhamed pushed Frimpong to the front of the queue ahead of on-loan Stoke City Austrian defender Moritz Bauer. The teen ace started seven of the eight games through December prior to the shutdown.
Frimpong admitted the relished the challenges that lie ahead and told the Daily Record: “As a footballer, you have to handle everything that is thrown at you. I just like to play as many games as possible. It is my job and I’m happy to play.
“I played a lot before Christmas and I feel ready to go again. I feel my confidence is improving with each game, although I am confident all the time, anyway.
“There is no margin for error, but we are aware of that. We will be going all-out to keep our streak going and stay at the top of the league.
“We don’t want to slip up, but it is going to be tough. It will be hard for us, although we are ready for that.”
Comeback Bhoy Leigh Griffiths got the opener against the Jags to set the hoops on course for victory and game against Clyde in Cumbernauld in the next round in February.
CALAMITY…Jeremie Frimpong protests to referee Alan Muir after the official awarded Partick Thistle a penalty-kick.
Frimpong added: “It was great to see Leigh back and it was about time he scored again!
“It is so good to have him in the team again. I know how good he is playing against him in training every day.
“You just can’t give him a chance in the penalty box as he never misses. That is what happened with the opening goal.
“He has a terrific attitude and just never gives up, so it was good to play alongside him and it was also good to have Daniel Arzani and Jozo Simunovic back on the pitch.
“That is the first time I have been on the pitch with them since I came to the club.
“We are going to need all the players we can in the next few weeks, so it was a bonus to have them. I want to see as many new faces as possible.”