Monday, 8 August 2016
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on new signing Scott Sinclair as the winger came off the bench to grab a late winner in a 2-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Hearts.
The 27-year-old, who only completed his £4.5million move from Aston Villa late on Saturday, replaced Stuart Armstrong on the hour mark.
But his surging run to get on the end of Leigh Griffiths’ cross to slot home an 81st minute winner ensured Celtic made a winning start to their title defence.
Rodgers, who previously worked with Sinclair as a youth at Chelsea before signing him for Swansea, was delighted to see the former England under-21 international get his Hoops career off to a flying start.
“He’s a wonderful player. That goal typifies him as it shows his hunger and desire to score,” Rodgers, who was also making his Scottish league debut, said.
“He has run from the edge of his box and for him to show that touch and composure at the end of a run like that was wonderful.
“I’m delighted for him. He’s made a big choice to come here in terms of coming out of the Premier League but I know he’s really happy to be here and I’m sure he’ll get lots of goals.
“He travelled through and had his medical on Saturday. That completed late on last night and obviously he then only met the players at the hotel later on.
“I think he’ll find comfort in the fact I know him well. He knows exactly why he’s here and the role he’ll play in. It’s similar to what he did at Swansea and in those couple of seasons he was there he was absolutely brilliant for me.
“It’s been a bit difficult for him the past couple of seasons after his move to Manchester City and then Aston Villa but I think Scott will be really excited about the move.
“He’s the type of player who gets you off your seat with his speed, pace and trickery and he loves scoring goals.”
Sinclair, part of the Aston Villa side that were relegated to the Championship last season following his move from Manchester City where he made just 13 appearances in three years, has signed a four-year deal with the Glasgow giants.
“It is an amazing feeling. I didn’t think I would be involved with the squad but the manager said I was fit. It was great I could come in and score the winner,” the winger said.
“It all happened so fast. I came up Friday night, I only had three hours’ sleep. But I did the scans and bits and pieces and I have made the squad.
“This is why I came to Celtic – to play games, score goals and start enjoying it again. Hopefully it can continue.”
Celtic, who top the table with Dundee, Motherwell and Partick Thistle, now have a League Cup meeting with Motherwell on Wednesday, a friendly against Inter Milan in Ireland next Saturday, followed by the first leg of their Champions League play-off round against Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva the following Wednesday.
Rivals Rangers needed a Martyn Waghorn goal midway through the second-half to salvage a point as they drew 1-1 with Hamilton on their return to the top flight at Ibrox on Saturday.
Source by: AFP