John Kennedy is delighted by the goal sense of Joe Thomson.
The 16-year-old opened the scoring in the 4-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday and had a claim for the second goal although it seems to have been credited to team-mate Jamie Lindsay.
Earlier this month, on u-20 duty, Thomson made a great run into the penalty box to score the winning goal in the 2-1 win over Dunfermline.
“It’s instinctive with Joe, he just seems to time his runs and knows where to run,” coach John Kennedy explained. “Sometimes players just have a knack for that, it’s like a striker who just knows where to be in the box and the ball falls to them.
“Joe seems to have a habit of getting on the end of crosses and through balls. He gets himself in one-on-one with the goalkeeper or arriving at the right time to score a goal.
“We’re delighted with his progress so far. He is giving away a few years to most of these players but you can see how he competes, that doesn’t bother him, he’s just happy to be on the pitch competiting at this level.”
The 4-1 win over Ajax was well deserved with Celtic matching the Dutch side in every area while showing a greater purpose in and around goal.
Denny Johnstone failed to find the net but left everyone at the match impressed by his contribution, linking well with Paul McMullan and bringing the midfielders into play at every opportunity.
Despite his size Johnstone is most effective with the ball on the deck with Tuesday’s performance coming on the back of recent goals against Ajax and the German national side.
“Denny has come on leaps and bounds recently,” Kennedy added. “He has come on a helluva lot in the last 12 months. He was terrific for us today. The only downside of the game was that he didn’t score, he deserved it today.
“He worked his socks of, he gave us the target we needed to play into his feet, he very rarely gave the ball away. We couldn’t ask any more of him.
“He made some great runs behind their defence, he knew where to stand to link the play, the only thing missing was a goal but he was unfortunate that it never quite came off.”
CELTIC: Max Oberschmidt; Lewis Kidd, Eoghan O’Connell (Fiace Kelleher 46) , Stuart Findlay, Aidan McIlduff; Jamie Lindsay, Connor McManus, Liam Henderson; Joe Thomson (Connor McLaren 80), Denny Johnstone (Luke Donnelly 90), Paul McMullan
SUBS: Jordan Hart, Sam Wardrop, Steven Boyd, Calvin Miller.