Times Talker: Can Teemu make grade with Hoops?

YES says MATTHEW LINDSAY

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It can take time for a foreigner like Teemu Pukki to adapt to playing in Scotland
It can take time for a foreigner like Teemu Pukki to adapt to playing in Scotland

YES says MATTHEW LINDSAY

TEEMU Pukki's winning strike for Celtic against Hibs is not likely to win him any Goal of the Season awards.

The Finnish hit man turned a square ball from Joe Ledley into the opposition net with the outside of his foot from a few yards out. But it was enough to give Neil Lennon's side victory and maintain their unbeaten run in the SPFL Premiership. And it will have done wonders for the scorer's self-confidence.

Moving to a foreign country to play professional football can be demanding. That is especially true at a club of the size and stature of Celtic.

It is obvious that Pukki, a £3million capture from Schalke 04 in the summer, is a quality player. All he needs to come good is the self-belief that he belongs in the first team at the Scottish champions.

Goals like the one against Hibs - which Lennon described as "a good striker's goal" - will lift his spirits. Expect many more in the remainder of the 2013/14 campaign.

MUST DO MORE says JOHN McGILL

THE demands on Celtic's strikers are great. It is not good enough simply to go to Parkhead and score a handful of goals during the course of a season.

The Glasgow club has had too many great hit men in the past for that sort of return to be acceptable To be considered successful he must weigh in with at least 20 goals domestically during the course of a campaign.

Pukki has shown that, when he is in the mood, he knows how to find the back of the net. He is fast, intelligent and makes excellent runs.

But he must do more if he is to thrive at Celtic. He must become a prolific scorer. The Finland international must also score crucial goals in big games.

He deserves time to find his feet at the Hoops. It can be difficult to adapt to a different country, culture and style of football.

But ultimately he has to find the net on a regular basis in order to be considered a decent signing.

Football

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