HATEM ABD ELHAMED is backing full-back partner Boli Bolingoli to answer his critics after the Belgian defender’s shaky performance in the 1-1 draw against Cluj on Wednesday.

The £3million recruit from Rapid Vienna in the summer has been handed the No.3 slot ahead of Jonny Hayes who, along with Emilio Izaguirre, filled in for the injured Kieran Tierney who made only nine first-team appearances in 2019.

The fans favourite finally ended the transfer saga involving Arsenal when he signed a five-year deal with the London side just before the English deadline at 5pm with the eight-in-a-row champions picking up the record fee of £25million.

Boss Neil Lennon is looking for five new players, as CQN reported earlier this morning, and he admitted right and left-back are positions where he feels he needs to strengthen,

Certainly, Bolingoli did little to inspire confidence in the first leg of the Champions League third round qualifier against Dan Petrescu’s side where he looked slow to react to the danger at their goal, received a yellow card and littered his 90 minutes with misplaced passes.

However, Elhamed has asked the Hoops fans to have patience with his fellow-New Bhoy and, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “Boli is a good guy and a good player.

“He is also a new player. I think give him time and he will do well.”

Bolingoli and Elhamed are due to face Motherwell in the High Noon kick-off at Fir Park tomorrow where Lennon will have to accommodate a change in central defence with Jozo Simunovic serving the second of his two-match ban.

Christopher Jullien came on for the Croatian when he limped off near the end in midweek and will most likely partner Kristoffer Ajer in the heart of the rearguard.


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