ODea: I missed the intensity of Celtic, this is where I want to succeed

Darren O’Dea is determined to show that he’s got what it takes to make it at Celtic.
The defender has returned from a spell on the sidelines at Reading to become captain of Celtic during the toughest times of Tony Mowbray’s reign.
Three years on from breaking into the first team the Dubliner is looking to use his current run in the team to cement his place in Mowbray’s plans.
“It’s good to be back at Celtic and back in the team,” he said.
“When I was down at Reading I missed the intensity of it all, because playing for a club like Reading is different to life at a place like Celtic. It was good for me to get some games in with Reading but Celtic is the club I want to play for and the place I want to succeed, so I am happy to be back and in the team.
“Now my aim is to stay in the team and help the team win back the league title here. I have played in the last few games and been captain as well, that’s a massive honour for me.
“When you see the legends who have been Celtic captain in the past, and there I am with the armband, it makes me very proud and makes me even more determined to succeed and prove to everyone that I deserve to be here.
“I spoke to Tony Mowbray when I came back from Reading a few weeks ago and he just said to get my head down and show him that I should be in the team.
“He has said that the best players will play; there are no favourites or agendas in his mind; he’ll pick the strongest XI every week. Now I know that it’s up to me to show I should be in there.
“I have to work hard in every game and in training every day to prove that I should be in the starting 11. As far as I am concerned I am here to stay for the season, there are no more loans planned, from what I know.
“I am in the team now, striving to stay in it and do as well as I can.”
O’Dea’s loan spell at Reading was intented to give him regular first team football to boost his long term prospects at Celtic.
Eight appearances during September and October came to a halt with the sacking of Brendan Rogers with a return to Celtic inevitable as soon as the transfer window re-opened.
O’Dea explained: “I am glad I went to Reading and I learned a lot about the game in the time I was there.
“Brendan Rogers was a great manager and a good bloke, but there are other people at the club who were bringing it down. Brendan was one of the good things about the club and I owe him a lot.
“It’s just a pity that other people at the club were not helping, and I think Reading, as a club, will struggle until those people are gone.
“As a coach and a manager, Brendan taught me a lot and I still have a lot of time for him.
“I was moved around a bit when I was at Reading, I played centre-half and full-back. I had no problem with that, Reading had a few injuries and they needed people to fill in, so it wasn’t a problem to play left back or right back.
“It was a good experience for me just to try something different. I’ve been at Celtic since I was 15 years old. I was 18 or 19 when I made my debut. I have been at the club all along and didn’t have loan spells when I was younger, before I went to Reading.
“So to get out and go somewhere else, somewhere away from the goldfish bowl of life at Celtic, was good for me. I played eight games against good opposition and good players, maybe it should have gone better than it did, but I picked up a lot of experience there. I improved from working there.”

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