SCOTT BAIN kept his third successive clean sheet in only his fourth start of the season in Celtic’s scoreless stalemate at Livingston yesterday.
The former on-loan keeper, who had defied St Johnstone (1-0) and Hearts (3-0) in the Betfred League Cup-ties, stepped in for Craig Gordon, who was injured in the epic 2-1 Europa League success over RB Leipszig at Parkhead on Thursday.
Bain, beaten only by Partick Thistle in the Hoops’ 3-1 win in the League Cup at Firhill in August, celebrated the champions going to the top of the Premiership for the first time this season by being called into Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad for the European Nations ties against Albania on Saturday and Israel a week tomorrow.
Team-mate Gordon has also been forced to call off international duty because of fitness issues.
Bain reflected on yesterday’s draw against Livi and said: “We did everything but score. You can see why Livingston have done so well. It’s difficult to come here, and they know how to play here. They’re right on top of you, but I thought we handled them well.
“It was a difficult game and I think the first 10 minutes really set the tone for them. They played balls into wide areas and balls up the pitch, but I thought we handled it really well.
“Now that we’re up to the top, we want to stay there. The standard we’ve set in the past few weeks has been exceptional. It’s obviously hard to keep that going and credit to the boys for managing to pull that off every week.
“We wanted to get three points, but it was a difficult surface and a difficult game. However, we are top of the league and we move on from there.”
Bain, who joined the Hoops in the summer after his contract at Dundee expired, added: “It’s not really been a case of me playing lots of games to get sharp.
“I’m training with the best players in the league every day. I’ve got the best goalkeeping coaching and I’ve got people like Craig Gordon to train with every day.
“Mentally I’m sharp, physically I’m sharp and I’ve got all the facilities there that can keep me ticking over until I need to play.”