Neil Lennon has admitted that Conor Hazard is knocking on the Celtic first team door.
The keeper played a dozen games on loan for Dundee last season but at the age of 22 it seemed unlikely that was going to make the breakthrough at Celtic.
During the summer when Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon left the club there was little suggestion that Hazard or Ross Doohan were potential replacements.
Celtic spent £4,5m on Vasilis Barkas but after rotating the goalkeeping position with Scott Bain, Lennon opted for a change last night with the bhoy from Downpatrick given his chance in a makeshift side.
In truth Hazard had little to do but there was a confidence and assurance about him that seemed to bond with the defenders in front of him as Lille chances were kept to a minimum of chances.
After the match Neil Lennon told The Sun:
Conor has been knocking at the door training wise for a long time. I spoke to him and said I wanted to give him a chance, and maybe Lille would be the one.
There wasn’t a lot of pressure and I wanted to see how he adjusted. He was excellent. He made a big save at 3-2 and showed good hands with a cross at the end. We are delighted with his progress and he’s knocking at the door.
Back in 2005 David Marshall was largely blameless as Celtic lost nine goals to Artmedia Bratislava and Motherwell, opening the door to Artur Boruc. With a change in fortune for the team the Pole never looked back with Hazard now in a similar situation as Lennon looks for the change that turns around Celtic’s season.