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IBROX ICON PRAISES CELTIC HART SWOOP

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RANGERS legend Barry Ferguson has hailed CELTIC for signing former England international goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The 34-year-old netminder quit Spurs in a £1million three-year deal during the week and is poised to make his debut this afternoon in the Europa League first leg qualifier against Jablonec in the Czech Republic, as Scotzine forecast.

And Ferguson insisted it was a shrewd piece of business by boss Ange Postecoglou – and he also warned Hoops players to expect an ear-bashing from the vocal No.1.

The pair were colleagues for a season at Birmingham City in 2009/10 and it was the shotstopper’s form at St Andrew’s that led him back to Manchester City.

One-time Ibrox captain Ferguson is convinced the signing of his old colleague will be a major boost to Celtic who have struggled in the goalkeeping position since Fraser Forster returned to parent club Southampton following another impressive loan period.

Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain and Conor Hazard have all figured, but have not convinced on a consistent basis. Hart could now provide the solution.

Ferguson said: “He trains to play, I know he hasn’t played the last few years at Burnley then Tottenham.

“What Celtic are getting is a real presence in the goal, a real character.

“I played with him at Birmingham, albeit he was only 22, I was really impressed with him, first in in the morning and the last away.

“A very good trainer, a top goalkeeper, it’s one of those positions you always make mistakes and it gets highlighted.”

The ex-midfielder, speaking to Go Radio, added: “Joe was the No.1 of England and Manchester City, Celtic have signed a top goalkeeper.

“When you have a big presence in the goal it helps you, he is very vocal, as well, I think that’s what Celtic need.

“That’s the way Joe was at half time – even during a game, after the game, if you didn’t perform well, he was more than happy to say his piece.

“I like players like that, I like players giving an opinion, and Joe was opinionated, I don’t mind that.”

 

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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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