FORMER Celtic keeper Jonathan Gould reckons there is little between Hoops glove rivals Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries.
The Scotland international, who sat out the back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Slovakia with ex-Hoops No.1 David Marshall getting the nod, is back in charge at Parkhead.
Gordon looked poised and assured in the dramatic 3-3 Champions League draw with Manchester City and pulled off a remarkable reflex save to deny Pep Guardiola’s side in the fading moments.
Dutchman De Vries was promoted to the top team by his former Swansea gaffer Brendan Rodgers shortly after arriving in a £400,000 deal from Nottingham Forest.
The ex-Dunfermline made his debut in the 4-1 win over Aberdeen on August 27 and remained in place for the 5-1 victory over Sevco Rangers, the 7-0 hammering from Barcelona and the 2-2 stalemate in Inverness before Gordon played in the 2-0 Betfred League triumph over Alloa.
Thirty-five-year-old De Vries returned against Kilmarnock and allowed a 40-yard effort to beat him for a shock opener.
He injured his chest attempting to keep out the long-range effort and Gordon, 33, replaced him at the interval as the Hoops went on to win 6-1.
The former Hearts and Sunderland goalie faced megabucks City before keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory at Dundee and is expected to be in place again when Mark McGhee brings his Motherwell side to Glasgow at the weekend.
Gould, who is also a former Scotland international, has been in an identical situation to Gordon when he was sidelined after Martin O’Neill paid Dundee £1million for Rab Douglas.
The West Brom goalkeeping coach can appreciate Gordon’s situation and said: “I think the first thing you do is go away and work out how to be better.
“The challenge for you in that situation is to improve, to learn what the manager wants and to mould your game around those attributes.
“I am guessing that Craig will have taken a lot on board about what he has been asked to do by Brendan Rodgers.
“But I have watched both Gordon and De Vries, during his time at Swansea, and I have to say there is very little between them. They are both outstanding goalkeepers.
“De Vries might just need a little bit of time to understand what playing for Celtic means, but I remember he had a record 25 clean sheets at Swansea and I can tell you, that is something that takes some doing.
“You don’t do that without being a very good goalkeeper. I think we all know, too, what Gordon brings.
“He can be outstanding on his day and the way he came back from spending two years out of the game to performing at such high level tells you everything about him as a character.
“Most of us who spent time at Celtic have been in the same situation where you find yourself on the outside looking in.
“It is all then about what you do when you are out. Craig had a super save towards the end of the game when Celtic played Manchester City a few weeks backs and that will have done his confidence no harm at all.
“It really is now just a question of who stays in and that is simply a choice that only one man can make.”