In Focus: Jack Hendry will find step up to face Zenit hugely difficult

As reported by The Scottish Sun, new Celtic signing Jack Hendry is set to be thrown in at the deep end against FC Zenit next week after injuries suffered to two of Brendan Rodgers’ trusted defenders this past weekend.

What’s the story?

Both Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer had to be substituted off in the first half during Celtic’s defeat to Kilmarnock on Saturday, plunging the Hoops into a fresh injury crisis.

Boyata suffered a groin strain while Ajer damaged his ankle after landing awkwardly.

The Scottish Sun report that both are major doubts for next week’s crucial tie against Russian side FC Zenit in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 and that newcomer Jack Hendry is set to be trusted in the Hoops’ defensive line.

Brendan Rodgers was happy to give him game time so soon after joining the club last week, speaking about the defender after he made his debut at Rugby Park.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the Hoops boss said:

It was a good game for Jack to come into. He is getting used to his team-mates. He will certainly feel after this game the expectations of what it is about. But I thought he did fine.

Can he make the step up?

Hendry has never faced a team above Scottish Premiership level in competitive action, so he’ll be heading into something of the unknown should he be selected for the Celtic Park clash against the second placed side in Russia.

He’s been a stand-out for Dundee this term and performed well against the Hoops themselves at Celtic Park earlier in the season.

However, it’s a huge test for the 22 year old and without the background of European experience, he’ll find it tougher than almost everyone in the Celtic squad to raise his game.

There’s only really one way to learn though and that’s by testing himself on big occasions like this one and it’ll be a good measure of what his his ability is right now and what’ll be expected of him at the Hoops in the years to come.

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