5 things we spotted at Celtic training as Matt O’Riley is put through his peace and Jota beams


Celtic were hard at work at Lennoxtown on Tuesday before they return to Premiership action.

The Scottish Cup was the focus at the weekend but all eyes are on Tynecastle as the title-hopefuls look to see off Hearts.

It’s two wins from two since returning from the winter break and momentum is building behind Ange Postecoglou’s side.

The likes of Matt O’Riley arriving at the club have only built the fee-good factor ahead of the trip to the capital as the Hoops looks to keep the pressure on Rangers leaders.

Here are five things we noticed as Celtic got down to work.

At the races

The future of loan star is still up in the air despite hopes as the option to buy decision remains an open question.

But that didn’t seem to bother Jota as he was beaming at Lennoxtown.

He was more than happy to put academy graduate Ben Doak through his peace at first-team training.

Doak is highly-rated at Celtic, but he was struggling to keep up with the pace of the smirking Benfica loanee as they raced one another.

Patience is key

Christopher Jullien was back in the Celtic squad against Alloa as he continues to ramp up his return from injury.

He didn’t get off the bench against Barry Ferguson’s men but that didn’t look to have dampened his spirits at training.

The smiling defender is on the brink of a return to the first-team picture and will hope to break up Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers’ partnership in the heart of the defense in the future.

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For now he looked happy to be back regularly doing the hard yards on the training pitch.

Life of O’Riley

New recruit Matt O’Riley was snapped at Lennoxtown for the first time.

It’s a signing that has got fans excited with the highly-rated 21-year-old attracting interest from across Europe before agreeing to move Parkhead.

He is in line to make his debut in the capital, and his new teammates were happy to put him through his peace as he prepares for the career landmark.

The former MK Dons mans was left chasing shadows at points as defensive duo Carl Starfelt and Josip Juranovic knocked the ball about.

He’ll look to get a bit closer to the Hearts’ side if he is given the nod by Postecoglou.

on the way out

It could be the last time that this man is spotted at Lennoxtown for a while.

The 19-year-old Montgomery is highly-rated at Parkhead and made 18 appearances in the first half of this season during his breakthrough campaign.

But following the January recruitment drive Ange Postecoglou has rubber stamped a loan move to Kilmarnock to allow the left-back first team minutes in the Championship.

While Montgomery was training with the first-team he looks set to join Derek McInnes’ Rugby Park revamp for the remainder of the campaign.

Postecoglou face palm

The boss was in good spirits ahead of the trip to Tynecastle as he looks to forget any memory of opening day defeat.

Celtic travel to Gorgie on Wednesday and it’s their first visit to the capital since they fell to a 2-1 defeat in Postecoglou’s first Premiership game in charge.

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But he’s clearly keen to forget about the game quizzing reporters “when the statute of limitations expires” on talking about the fixture in his pre-match press conference.

Whether someone had just brought up the opening day of the season again or not, Ange couldn’t help but face palm as he watched training at Lennoxtown.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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