LIAM SCALES was on the substitutes’ bench at Livingston yesterday – although Ange Postecoglou admits the new Bhoy “isn’t quite ready” for first-team action.
The versatile defender, bought from Shamrock Rovers for £600,000 last month, was unused as the Hoops toiled before tumbling to a 1-0 shocker against David Martindale’s side who had been rock-bottom of the Premiership without a win before the visit of the Parkhead side.
Postecoglou was without shoulder injury victim Greg Taylor for the second successive match and decided to rest stand-in left-back Adam Montgomery, who had been involved for the entire 90 minutes-plus against Real Betis in Seville on Thursday night when the visitors went down 4-3 in the Europa League Group G opener.
BHOY IN WAITING…Liam Scales is eager to kick-start his Celtic career.
However, he overlooked the claims of 22-year-old Irishman Scales and, instead, recalled Boli Bolingoli for his first top-team appearance since his cameo role in the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in August 2020.
Following the revelation of the defender’s secret break to high-risk Spain and his subsequent breaking of government Covid quarantine rules upon his arrival, he was shipped out on a season-long loan to Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir.
It looked as though the Belgian’s Hoops career was over until his surprise inclusion against Livi.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, explained: “Boli has been training well and we thought it was a good game to give him a start with Greg going down and Monty playing 90 minutes the other night.
“It was a big ask to ask him to start and Liam Scales isn’t quite ready yet.”
ON THE RUN…Boli Bolingoli was a shock inclusion in Ange Postecoglou’s team at Livingston.
Strange, then, the youngster should be included in the stripped squad for the match in West Lothian.
With the team trailing 1-0 to a first-half goal from Andrew Shinnie, Postecoglou waited until the 72nd minute before he made his substitutions when he sent on two defensive midfielders in Nir Bitton and Ismaila Soro while also putting on Mikey Johnston for his first appearance of the season.
That introduction of the Scotland Under-21 international winger also raised some eyebrows following his pre-season injury after sitting out most of the previous campaign following surgery.
The notorious artificial playing surface could have proved to be hazardous for someone attempting to ease back into the action.