Marvin Compper admits his Celtic career got off to a “bumpy” start but he is now looking forward to what he is expects will be a bruising encounter when he gets his first taste of a Glasgow derby next Sunday.
A full two months after the German defender moved from RB Leipzig in a £1 million deal, the 32-year-old finally made it on to the pitch for a disjointed Brendan Rodgers side as three goals in the final half hour against Morton ensured their passage to the Scottish Cup semi-final. A groin injury delayed this debut but now the centre-back is looking to put his lay-off behind him.
“It’s been disappointing for me so far,” Compper admitted. “When you come to a new club you want to show why you were brought in. It has taken me a while but the first game is played and I hope I can go on from there.”
A stray pass in the opening minutes that proved his first touch for his new club almost let in Gary Oliver for a clear shot on goal but the defender recovered quickly.
“It’s nice feeling to play from the start. The start was a little bumpy for me,” Compper conceded. “But we got the job done and are through to the next round – that was our goal. It wasn’t one of our best performances but the result is the most important thing. I felt more comfortable the longer the game went.”
Comfortable enough for Compper to hope he has played his way into Rodgers’ thinking for the trip to Ibrox. “Obviously the Rangers game is one everyone wants to play,” he said. “I will do my best during the week then it’s up to the gaffer. It is going to be very intense, a battle. We are going to need to be ready from the first minute. We cannot start like today or we might be 2-0 down so we have to be there from the first minute.
“These are the competitions where the opportunity presents a player to show what you are made of. Every player wants to show that he is ready for that.
“I feel fit enough, otherwise the staff and gaffer wouldn’t have put me on today. Even if Morton are a Championship team you shouldn’t ever take it too easy. Because if you are not focused they can cause you trouble. That’s what happened in the first half. We need to grow as a team in these kind of situations to get the job done from the first minute.”