After a disastrous end to last month, Celtic have picked up a couple of morale-boosting victories in the Scottish Premiership as they look to salvage a bit of pride from what has been a horror show of a season.
Neil Lennon’s side have watched their hopes of an incredible ten-in-a-row go up in smoke, and have lurched from one nightmare to the other, not least a 2-1 defeat at home to St Mirren on January 30.
That prompted a reshuffle from the Celtic boss for the game against Kilmarnock, with the Hoops running out 4-0 winners. The Bhoys then clinched a 2-1 win over Motherwell, and head into tonight’s game against St Mirren with the chance to make it three wins from three.
One man who has been absent from Lennon’s starting line-up for the past couple of games has been Ismaila Soro. The Hoops manager recalled skipper Scott Brown into the fold, and his captain duly rewarded him with a goal against Kilmarnock and a very dominant display.
But whilst the 35-year-old might have gotten his mojo back, that’s no reason to keep Soro out of the limelight – especially after he has reportedly been cleared to feature tonight having had a minor car accident.
The £900k-rated midfielder has been a rare shining light in what has been a turbulent season for the club, and prior to the start of this month, had emerged as a vital cog in the engine room for Lennon – he had started the last ten games in the Scottish Premiership.
Speaking after his goal against Dundee United back in December, Lennon said: “He’s played brilliantly. I thought he passed the ball really crisply. I’m really, really pleased with his contribution, his energy and his reading of the game. He’s very, very crisp with the ball at the minute as well.”
Described as someone with “explosive power“, the 22-year-old represents the future of this Celtic team, along with young centre-back Stephen Welsh.
Yes, the Hoops might have found a way to win again, but it feels like taking a step backwards by returning to the old reliable of Brown. Soro is the man Celtic need to build around in midfield, and using the rest of this season as the perfect platform for him to be given even more game-time and consistent first-team starts would do him the world of good.
Much like with Welsh, keeping these young starlets on the side-lines just isn’t going to do them anything in terms of their development, and it would make a lot more sense for them to be in the side week-in and week-out.
The title race is effectively over, so Lennon could do more for the club’s long-term by placing his faith in Soro again. Starting with St Mirren tonight.