Carl Starfelt responds to Celtic transfer hype around Cameron Carter Vickers as he insists ‘wait and see’


Carl Starfelt lapped up the plaudits for a titanic Old Firm display that many considered his best yet in a Celtic jersey.

But the Swede insists it was just business as usual for a defense he has marshalled with Cameron Carter-Vickers for months but which has been breached only 11 times in 17 outings this year.

It’s a far cry from a Tynecastle nightmare on his debut against Hearts. That 2-1 defeat resulted in his fingers pointed in his direction, days after arriving in a £4million move from Rubin Kazan.

The 26-year-old is adamant those teething problems are in the distant past.

Now he aims to push the pedal down on completing the transformation in fortunes by landing the domestic Treble.

Starfelt said: “It was normal that we didn’t play our best at the beginning of the season.

“We brought a lot of new players in and some didn’t get a pre-season.

“There were also players coming in from different countries and new coaches.

“So it was normal it would take time for us to adapt and learn how to play with one another.

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“Everyone has adapted well and we feel a lot more stable in our performances at the moment. I’ve felt for a while now that my partnership with Cameron has been very solid. We managed to get 2-1 ahead against Rangers last Sunday and knew the game meant so much for the fans.

“Maybe from some people’s perspective they believed it was our best game. I can’t say that as I think we have been good in many games.

“But the derby was important and I was happy we kept the opposition away.”

Starfelt refused to get involved in the clamor from Celtic fans for the club to push the boat out to secure his defensive sidekick on a permanent deal after the success of his loan move from Tottenham.

He said: “Cameron’s been a very good player for us and I enjoy playing with him a lot. It’s not my decision as to what will happen there but we will wait and see.”

One aspect of life at Celtic that Starfelt is more than happy to elaborate on is the impact of boss Ange Postecoglou on his development. He claims every Hoops player is left in no doubt of what’s expected from the Australian.

He said: “The manager has been really great. The biggest thing is he’s so clear in what he wants from me.

“When we go on the pitch, everyone knows what’s expected of them.




“That goes for the whole team and not just for me personally. I also feel that he believes in me a lot and I’m really happy about that.

“The manager is keen to get across a message that every player on the pitch has to work hard defensively to try to keep the opposition away from our goal.

“It’s been working well and we just need to keep working like this until the end of the season. There is a large group of staff here and they are all contributing a lot.

“I can’t single out one person, there are many different coaches who have played a big part.”

Starfelt doesn’t believe last weekend’s Ibrox win will have any bearing on their upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

And he was straight to the point when asked if the confidence gained from beating the Light Blues in their own back yard will provide a factor at Hampden next Sunday.

He said: “No, it was obviously a very big and important game which allowed us to go a bit further with a six-point lead but there are still many games left to play.

“The semi-final will be a completely new game. We will still have to go there and play at our very best to go through.”

Sweden boss Janne Andersson has clearly taken note of Starfelt’s form as the stopper landed a recall to the squad for the World Cup semi-final play-off defeat to the Czech Republic.

Starfelt aims to make a call from his country to regular occurrence. He said: “I feel that the better I play, the more I develop and my long-term goal is to play for the national team as a starting player.

“To do that I need to keep developing as a player as my national team manager looks at my games.

“You can only affect what you are doing at your club and you only get picked if you are performing very well.”

Starfelt also sidestepped a question about the player safety issues after bottles and coins were thrown onto the field of play in the Old Firm match, insisting it’s not his department.

He said: “I can’t answer that question in a good way. It was not acceptable what happened but I want to focus on the pitch.”




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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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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