Olivier Ntcham has revealed that Neil Lennon did instruct him to press forward when he replaced Ryan Christie during the Europa League win over Lazio.
To most fans it looked like a defensive move, shore up the midfield and reduce Lazio’s attacking options as the game entered the closing stages.
With just 13 minutes left to play, plus stoppage time, most Celtic fans would happily have taken a point from the Stadio Olympico but in the fifth minute of added time Ntcham turned into a goal hero- without breaking the instructions of his manager.
Picking up on an interview with the club magazine the Daily Record reports:
He told the Celtic View: “Before I came on, the manager said to me, try to defend a little bit, press when possible and when we get the ball try to forward and keep the ball.
“It was difficult but it happened too quickly to explain. I was proud of my finishing in the game. Winning in Italy, breaking a record – that’s great news for everybody involved in the club.”
Ntcham’s goal booked Celtic their place in the draw for the Round of 32 in February but he still faces a big task to earn a starting place in Neil Lennon’s team.
Against Motherwell on Saturday he held his place in the side with Christie on the bench but with Scott Brown and Callum McGregor well established the former Manchester City man has his work cut out trying to force his way into a winning team.