JOE HART will be the man in possession of the gloves when Celtic embark on another Champions League quest.
The 36-year-old 75 times-capped England international keeper has surely answered his critics with his recent displays, particularly his sound and near-flawless performance in the 1-0 win at Ibrox on Sunday.
The shotstopper utilised all his experience to coax Swedish new Bhoy Gustaf Lagerbiekle through a difficult derby debut in front of 50,000 partisan fans without a friendly voice to be heard.
I’M IN CHARGE…Joe Hart proved to be unbeatable at Ibrox.
The £3million recruit from Elfsborg had never witnessed anything like it in his novice career at this level, but Hart was there with well-timed runs off his line to clean up behind Lagerbiekle and Liam Scales, the Irishman also sampling the rarefied atmosphere of this confrontation for the first time.
Hart doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, but to discover his true worth to the champions you only have to listen to his colleagues as they extol the virtues of cash well spent.
In a summer when the club wrote off the £4.5million that was spent on Greek international Vasilis Barkas, the Parkhead team’s most expensive-ever keeper, it surely emphasises the astute business that was done to bring Hart on a three-year deal from Spurs for a mere £1million.
Brendan Rodgers will have no hesitation in putting his trust in the Englishman for the forthcoming clashes with Feyenoord, Lazio and Atletico Madrid.