SCOTT BAIN has made the step up from the wilderness at Dundee to the bench at Hibernian before slipping seamlessly into the Celtic squad, so he has no doubts former team-mate John McGinn would be able to handle the jump from Easter Road.

Celtic had an initial bid for the 23-year-old midfielder rejected on Monday night, but they are sure to go back to Hibs with an improved offer as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his midfield following the departure of Stuart Armstrong.

Bain is certain that McGinn, who he trained with at Hibs in his brief spell there before lining up alongside him for Scotland in front of 70,000 fanatical Mexico supporters at the Azteca Stadium, could not only fill those formidable boots, but thrive alongside Scott Brown in the Celtic engine room.

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“John is a good player,” said Bain. “Everyone has seen how powerful and strong he is, and he can pass the ball. He is just a great lad to have about any club.

“I have known John for a while and I played with both his brothers too. I don’t think joining Celtic would faze John. He has good character. He believes in his own ability and has the quality to back it up.”

Bain believes that the self-belief and confidence that McGinn possesses aligned to his technical quality could lead him to become an important player for such a huge club. 

As Celtic have found to their own cost, he thrives on the big stage, scoring twice in a 2-2 draw at Celtic Park last season.

“John has a strong mentality and that’s one of the biggest aspects of playing for Celtic,” he said.

“The levels demanded of you are so much higher than everywhere else that you need to be on it every day. I think John definitely has the mentality to handle that.

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“Some players just love the big occasion and he has shown that in his career.”

Bain would be delighted to see McGinn join the core of Scots already in place at the club, with Lewis Morgan, Jack Hendry and Bain himself recently joining the likes of Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths.

“John would fit in at Celtic and I think it’s always good to have that Scottish core at a club like this,” he said.

“They know the values and what it means to play for the club.”

At just 23, Bain thinks that there is plenty of improvement still to come from McGinn too, and that there would be no better environment for him than working under Brendan Rodgers to further his career and develop.

“Any player coming to Celtic would learn a lot from the manager,” he said.

“If they are prepared to work and listen to the gaffer, they will improve ten-fold.”

For Bain, he has felt those improvements in his own game since arriving at the club, and while much of that has to do with his own drive and commitment, a lot of the credit also goes to goalkeeping coach 
Stevie Woods.

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“I only knew Stevie from playing against Celtic with Dundee,” Bain said.
“We met after games but had never had an in-depth conversation before I came.

“Celtic is a giant club and one that everyone wants to play for, but as a goalkeeper Woodsy is a massive part of that. It’s one the reasons why you want to come here because he’s top notch.

“He’s very modern. He looks into a lot of things and analyses the position, so you can learn a lot from him. It’s all about just putting the work in with him.

“Woodsy is at the top of his game in the goalkeeping coaching department. But even for the wider squad, he’s a guy who is appreciated as a person, as well as a top coach.

“All the coaches here are at the top level and it’s a great place to be.”
Even if McGinn doesn’t come in to strengthen the ranks ahead of next week’s Champions League qualifier in Armenia against Alashkert, Bain feels that the squad are on a good place following a successful training camp in Austria.

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“It’s been a great week,” Bain said. “We have worked hard and really got back in to our stride.

“I feel we are looking good. We have had a really great week here and the boys have worked hard.

“We have done what we needed to get the fitness levels up and we are in a good place.

“It’s always a case of improving. It doesn’t matter what your levels are, you always strive to get better.

“Fitness wise, we look very sharp.

“With the contract all sorted, it makes me feel a little more at ease than I was before.”