SCOTT Bain has launched a staunch defence of under-fire Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon – and insisted that the recent stick he has taken is over the top.
Bain, pictured right, took time out of preparing for today’s Premiership trip to Parkhead where he will face Gordon to defend the 32-year-old Scotland ’keeper, who has come in for some flak following last weekend’s defeat by Aberdeen in the league as well as their 2-2 draw with Ajax in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Gordon was criticised in some quarters for his failure to cut out Ajax’s equalising strike late on, having previously been deemed to be at fault for ten-man Aberdeen’s late winner at Pittodrie last Saturday.
Gordon made a memorable return to top-flight football when he signed for Celtic last summer after spending two years out of the game due to career-threatening injuries, and the 32-times capped Scotland international crowned it all by being named Player of the Year.
Dens Park No.1 Bain, who grew up idolising his fellow Edinburgh-born keeper, said: “He’s had some unfair criticism in the last couple of games, especially against Ajax on Thursday night.
“I think he got a bit of stick for the second goal. But, for me, it’s a good ball in and one he can’t really come for.
“He’s played at the top level for so many years. So I think to criticise him is very wrong. He’s a great keeper. He’s been great for years.
“He’s one I’ve always watched since I was a kid. I think everyone knows the admiration I have for him. He did great to come back so well last season after injury which was well documented but I wouldn’t have expected anything less.
“Scotland has got some really good goal-keepers these days and it’s good for me to not only play against them, but to watch them also.
“I’ve grown up watching the likes of Craig and Allan McGregor and David Marshall.”
Bain admits he lapped up the experience of playing at Celtic Park last season following his summer move from minnows Alloa.
The 23-year-old, who was called up to Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad back in May, can’t wait to savour the big-game atmosphere all over again.
Bain said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at Parkhead again. I think that’s where you want to play your football.
“Since I came into this league, it’s been the best stadium I’ve been to and the best place to play.
“We were unlucky on my first game at Parkhead (a 2-1 defeat). We’re hoping we can go there and frustrate them.”