Jack Hendry points to 'external factors' over Celtic struggles as he refuses to rule out Parkhead return

Jack Hendry has not ruled out a return to Celtic this summer after the centre-back made a return to the Scotland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Celtic defender Jack Hendry has been on loan in Belgium for the past season. Picture: SNS

The 25-year-old was rewarded for his great form for Oostende with a call-up from Steve Clarke for the matches against Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands.

The centre-back has three caps for his country but hasn’t featured since 2018 after falling out of contention at Celtic. A loan to Melbourne City then ended in injury before he moved on loan to Begium at the beginning of the season.

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Oostende have an option to buy Hendry this summer but need to agree personal terms, and he could yet remain a Celtic player.

Hendry refused to look beyond his next game but, reflecting on his time at Parkhead, he said: "First and foremost, you have got to look at yourself, and what you could have done better.

"There are obviously external factors that might come into play. But I am just looking forward now.

"I have learned from it and I feel if I was to get an opportunity of that stature again, I would be ready to thrive in an environment like that."

Hendry stars for the team currently fourth in the Belgian top flight with one of the meanest defences in the country.

"I feel I have developed in these last six months in Belgium," he added.

"First and foremost I have games under my belt consistently, coming off the back of a couple of years when I didn't play so much. With the games you learn so much.

"Playing against international strikers helps coming into a squad like this. I am used to playing at that level and I feel I can play at that level and can go further.

"We have the third best defence in Belgium and for that team it's a massive achievement. Defensively I am more solid, my reading of the game, my confidence on the ball, but first and foremost as a defender you need to defend, and I feel I have shown that in Belgium.

"I feel I have competed at a real good level against top strikers and if anyone who has watched those games, they can see how good a defender I can be."

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