Scott Bain ready to dislodge Craig Gordon at Celtic

Scott Bain believes he is “100 per cent” ready to permanently dislodge Craig Gordon as Celtic’s No 1 goalkeeper as he looks to repay the faith placed in him by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Scott Bain knew that he was going to play in Celtics League Cup matches this season. Picture: SNS.

After previously only deputising for Gordon in domestic cup ties or when the senior man was injured, Bain has been picked by Rodgers for all three of Celtic’s games since their return to action after the winter break.

The 27-year-old, who has now kept eight clean sheets in his nine appearances for Celtic this season, feels he can hold on to the position for the rest of a campaign which continues with tomorrow night’s home Premiership fixture against 
St Johnstone.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

“Yeah, I back myself 100 per cent [to stay in the team],” said Bain. “I just need to keep working away and keep doing what I’ve been doing.

“After I signed for Celtic last year, the manager had a brief chat with me about playing in the cups. So I knew I would get opportunities to play and try to impress. From there, you never know what can happen.

“Craig plays the game to the highest standard and has done so all his career, so it was always going to be difficult for me to get into the team. I’ve just worked hard on and off the pitch and it has culminated in this run of games.”

Bain admits the timing of his elevation to first-choice keeper at the Scottish champions has come as something of a surprise to him.

But he revealed Gordon has provided him with nothing but support amid his own disappointment at being dropped to the bench.

“The manager had a chat with me about putting me in but it was still a surprise when you look at the level of performances Craig puts in.

“We are all 
professional, we have all been in a similar situation as goalkeepers at some point. So I knew Craig would be fine with me. He has always been supportive with me. Ever since I’ve been here, he’s been great with me. He is full of encouragement.

“If I’m not sure about something and want to ask him about a certain position or a certain thing in the game, he has always got great advice for me. I will always be open to taking advice from him.

“We have always got a bit of sympathy for each other when one isn’t playing because we work so closely together. But it is something that can always happen. My focus is always on doing the best that I can, day to day, and being ready to play if ever I got the opportunity.

“It isn’t my decision to make, it is obviously the manager’s. He has felt he wanted to give me a run in the team and I am not going to say no.

“We all train as if we are going to play on a Saturday. So we are always ready if we need to play. It’s the unfortunate life of a goalkeeper that only one can play at a time. I’ve had to bide my time on the bench and work hard away from playing. It’s good to get a run in the team now.

“But what I’ve seen at this club is that everyone’s pushing
in the right direction. Everyone is pushing for the same thing. So if you need to give way to someone else to put in a performance to get you three points at the weekend, ultimately that’s what you’ve got to do.

“The bigger picture is winning trophies. The best team for that situation will play and you just need to deal with that. Here is where I’ve seen that sense of togetherness the most and the past performances and achievements show everyone is working that way.

“Football can be a selfish game but in here everyone puts their ego to the side. We are all willing to do what is right for the club and the team.”

While Gordon produced a string of fine saves to prevent a heavier defeat for Celtic when they lost 1-0 to Rangers at Ibrox in the final match before the winter break, there is a perception that Bain’s superior ability with the ball at his feet is the key factor in persuading Rodgers to promote him.

“That’s something I’ve worked on along with everything else,” added Bain. “The players here make it really easy to play out from the back. They move into the right positions, they move quickly and decisively. You know when you give it to someone, you can trust them with the ball. They make it relatively easy for you.

“The manager didn’t give me any reason for putting me in, he didn’t need to. He just said he wanted to give me a run in the team. So I was grateful.

“He’s shown trust in me since I’ve come here. Playing in and winning the League Cup this season has just added layers of trust between me and the gaffer, as well as me and the fans. The manager has shown great faith in me to play me. I am looking to repay him.”