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BOLI HAILS HOOPS’ ‘LEADER’

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BOLI BOLINGOLI is the latest fully paid-up member of the Scott Brown Fan Club.

The Belgian left-back has been massively impressed by Celtic’s 34-year-old skipper since joining in a £3million switch from Rapid Vienna in the summer.

Bolingoli admitted he will again look to the Hoops powerhouse for his leadership qualities when they face Serie A cracks Lazio in the Olympic Stadium in Rome on Thursday night.

Neil Lennon’s men beat the Italians 2-1 at a rocking Parkhead last month after coming back from a goal down to take the points in dramatic fashion with a last-gasp header from towering Christopher Jullien following Ryan Christie’s sweeping opportunistic equaliser. The Hoops sit on top of Europa League Group E on seven points following a 2-0 triumph over Cluj in Glasgow and a 1-1 draw with Rennes in France.

Celtic warmed up for the encounter with a 5-2 League Cup semi-final success over Hibs at Hampden at the weekend when two second-half goals from Brown made certain of a place in the Final against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit on December 8.

Bolingoli, speaking of the importance of the captain to the team, told the Evening Times: “He’s a leader and he showed that again on Saturday.

“He plays well in every game and if you see a player like this on your side then you want to go for it.

“He makes you feel really comfortable on the pitch and it’s good to have a player like that on the field who controls the game and the team.

“Hopefully, he can get two goals again in Rome! But, for me, it doesn’t matter who scores, I just hope that we can win this game and get a better position in the Europa League, because I want to continue in this competition after the New Year.”

Bolingoli added: “I’ve played in Italy before in the Europa League last season, I played against Inter Milan with Rapid Vienna.

“It is always a nice experience to play against an Italian team, so I can’t wait to go back there.

“Lazio are also one of the biggest teams in Italy, so let’s see what we can do there.

“Serie A is a good level of competition, but we just try to focus and get the three points that will keep us top of the group and in a good position.

“It will be a tough game, but we go with the mind-set of getting these three points.”

 

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