Commons: Give the new Bhoys a chance

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons has urged the Parkhead support to keep the faith with Teemu Pukki and Amido Balde.

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Kris Commons has backed Teemu Pukki to come good for the Hoops
Kris Commons has backed Teemu Pukki to come good for the Hoops

The duo arrived at the club this summer but have so far struggled to nail down a regular start in Neil Lennon's side.

Commons, though, believes that both players need to feel confident walking onto the pitch and reckons that the Hoops support need to stick by the duo as they try and find their way in Scottish football.

"There are certain players who will go through purple patches and will be bang in form but for others you have to be a little bit patient," he said.

"Teemu has come in, English isn't his first language, and it is a new culture.

"But the biggest thing for me is that confidence is huge when you are playing in the kind of position that he is.

"It is all about belief and that comes with going on the park and knowing you are going to score.

"He has been in and out of the team, trying to find his feet, trying to adapt to the British way of playing and it might just take him a little bit of time.

"Once he finds his feet I think he will come good. But I do think that it's only fair to be patient with him at the minute.

"The same goes for Amido. Any player coming from a new culture and a new language needs to be given the

benefit of the doubt for a while.

"We've seen plenty of them in training but obviously they need to be able to go and do that when the games come round.

"I'm sure that no-one knows that more than them and with a bit of time I think they'll show they have plenty to offer here."

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk has revealed that Fraser Forster's call-up for England has given him hope that he too can make it into the senior team for his national side.

AC Milan and Dutch internationalist Nigel de Jong insisted last week that the defender is ready to make that step-up and van Dijk is confident that he can make it into Louis van Gaal's squad, despite the Champions League campaign coming to an end.

"Fraser playing for England definitely inspires me that I can do it," he said. "However, he is a top-class goalkeeper and he deserves it.

"I look at myself and I want to do what he has done. The manager tells me I have that I have it within me, but I've got to show it.

"People are noticing what I am doing, especially in the Champions League games. They watch them, but now I have to show it every week with us being out of the Champions League.

"It's difficult to talk about a call-up, I just have to keep working hard.

"Every player who is playing in a foreign country hopes the national team coach will keep watching you and we'll see what happens. The fact I'm playing in Scotland is not a concern for me.

"I'm a young player, so I still have time on my side. I want to be good in the Champions League and the Scottish Premiership. That's what I work for."

The Dutch will discover tomorrow their three World Cup group opponents and Van Dijk would love to book his place on the flight to Brazil.

He said: "I'm hoping that my country gets a kind draw. I'm looking forward to it - it would be great to be there."

Van Dijk was at fault for Milan's first goal at Parkhead when he failed to keep tabs on Kaka as the Brazilian superstar nodded in the first goal.

He also passed up a gilt-edged chance after the break that should have levelled the scores at 1-1.

But the defender says Sunday's crushing win over Gary Locke's men did ease the pain of his Champions League calamity.

"We all wanted a reaction after the Milan game," he said. "We knew it could be a difficult game away at Hearts, but we played very well and won the game. It was not difficult.

"The day after the Milan defeat was when the disappointment was at its worst, but after that we moved on to focus on the Hearts game.

"I was disappointed personally in the way we lost the goals last week, especially after watching the game back.

"But the day after that, you can't keep thinking about it. You have to move on and that's what I did."


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