Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy has talked up January signing Patryk Klimala after he made his first start for the club in their Scottish Cup tie.
The Hoops defeated League One outfit Clyde 3-0 to advance into the last eight of the competition.
Neil Lennon named six changes as he rotated his squad in part, handing his fringe players like Klimala a chance to impress.
Whilst he failed to get on the scoresheet, he still managed a 75-minute runout. Oliver Ntcham, Scott Brown and Vakoun Bayo were the trio to find the net.
Speaking after the game, Kennedy backed the Pole, he said:
“Patryk is obviously still settling in but it was an opportunity to get him out playing. He’s a good size and has good speed, it just takes time.
“He did fine. He had a good chance and probably on another day he would score, but he just needs to settle in and not put too much pressure on himself.
“We just need to give him time. The intensity of training and the way we work is something he’ll need to get used to but as time progresses he’ll get up to speed.
“It’s a step up in level from Poland and there are the demands, the physicality and speed, which takes some adjustment. He’s someone we’ll work really hard with but he’s certainly got the profile to become a good player for us.”
John Kennedy, Celtic assistant.
Klimala joined the club nearly a month ago in a reported £3.5m deal from Jagiellonia Białystok and has signed a massive four-and-a-half-year contract.
The 6-foot forward had only featured for 26 minutes prior to this afternoon’s start so it’s clear to see that he needs more time to find his feet in a new league, let alone the fact that he’s never played outside of his homeland Poland either.
Kennedy praises him and suggests that he’s a good fit for the club, so only time will tell if those comments can ring true. He’s currently third or fourth choice behind Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths.
Progressing into the final eight of the Scottish Cup is sure to hand him more of an opportunity as the season goes on as they’ll face St Johnstone in the next round.
The youngster was likened to Griffiths by ex-teammate and former Hamilton man Ziggy Gordon, so might he be the heir to the 29-year-old whenever he decides to depart Celtic Park.
“Klimala was a wiry player. Very athletic and enthusiastic. He never gave defenders time on the ball. He’s a very similar player to Griffiths.”
And in other news, Celtic fans debate Patryk Klimala’s game time…