John Kennedy says Patryk Klimala needs more time to settle in at Celtic

kennedy says Klimala needs more time to settle in as striker misses opportunity to open his goal account

Patryk Klimala made his first start for Celtic in their Scottish Cup fifth-round win over Clyde. Picture Craig Williamson/SNS

The Polish under-21 international striker made his first start for Celtic in their 3-0 Scottish Cup fifth-round win over Clyde at Broadwood yesterday and missed a relatively simple chance to open his account for the club.

Klimala, who had made three previous substitute appearances since his January move from Jagiellonia Bialystok, was replaced in the closing stages by Vakoun Bayo, who grabbed Celtic’s third goal of the tie.

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon rested top scorer Odsonne Edouard, with Leigh Griffiths an unused substitute, but while Klimala didn’t fully seize the opportunity to impress, Kennedy, pictured, has no doubts he will become a success.

“He is still settling in but this was an opportunity to get him out playing,” said Kennedy. “He’s a good size and has good speed, it just takes time. He did fine. He had a good chance and probably on another day he would score but he just needs to settle in and not put too much pressure on himself.

“Edouard and Griffiths have been terrific of late, and himself and Bayo have been fighting it out for the third and fourth striking positions, if you like.

“The intensity of training and the way we work is something he’ll need to get used to but as time progresses he’ll get up to speed. It’s a step up in level from Poland and there are the demands, the physicality and speed, which takes some adjustment.

“He’s someone we’ll work really hard with but he’s certainly got the profile to become a good player for us.”

Kennedy praised the approach of the Celtic players against their League 1 opponents in what could have been a potentially hazardous assignment in a strong and unpredictable wind.

“It was difficult conditions so it was good to get through the game comfortably,” said Kennedy. “A lot of players got the minutes they needed and it gave us the chance to rest a few. It was a professional performance. It wasn’t easy. The ball was swirling around but the boys were professional. We respected Clyde and still had a strong enough team to win the game convincingly.

“It was important to make some changes as we have a very busy schedule and a European game next midweek.

“You have to trust the players who have been waiting patiently. The team has been doing so well of late it gave us the chance to rest a few but some of them were desperate for game time.”

Celtic have now won 33 domestic cup ties on the spin in an unprecedented run which sees them still on course to win the treble for a fourth consecutive season.

“It’s a terrific record in terms of professionalism and how they treat these ties, because they are dangerous and anything can happen,” added Kennedy. “You can have players sent off, things going against you, or just a bad day.

“But they keep churning out the results. The quality and the mentality of this squad is so strong. There is a real will to win every single game in every competition. Long may that continue.”

Clyde never threatened to repeat their famous 2-1 win over Celtic from the 2006 Scottish Cup.

“We enjoyed the challenge,” said manager Danny Lennon. “Regardless of the changes Celtic made, they have got quality right through. They had patience, desire and showed simplicity in the way they played the game.”