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‘I AM SURE HE WILL COME GOOD,’ GORDON BACKS BARKAS

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CRAIG GORDON insists Vasilis Barkas will “come good” after a rocky start to the Greek international’s career at Celtic.

The 26-year-old keeper arrived at the champions in a £4.5million switch from AEK Athens in the summer that made him the club’s most expensive shotstopper.

Barkas was brought in when Gordon left at the end of his contract for former club Hearts and it became obvious Fraser Forster would not be returning on loan from Southampton where he still had two years of a lucrative contract to run.

That left boss Neil Lennon with only Scott Bain as an experienced No.1 and he made a swift move to fix up Barkas on a four-year deal.

However, the netminder has failed to convince and was blamed in many quarters for looking slow to react to Connor Goldson’s cushioned header that gave Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side an early lead in the derby collapse in the east end of Glasgow on Saturday.

Gordon, 37, who spent six years at the Hoops, told the Daily Record: “Trying to block out all the noise, that is part of the mentality, to carry on regardless, to do what you do well.

“There is always going to be so much scrutiny, so much online, everyone is going to have an opinion and it is very difficult to shut that out.

“You may not look at social media, but one of your friends will text you what has been said and you see it, anyway. It is very difficult to stay clear of all that stuff and not let it affect you.

“You have to have a great belief in yourself and your own ability to go out there and perform in what is a very pressurised situation.

“Overall, I dealt with it fairly well, but at times it does get very difficult. It is all about working hard in training and making sure you are ready for the games.

“There is no magic wand, no real piece of advice to help anyone with that.

“It is a very difficult place to be, such a pressurised job, especially at Rangers and Celtic where you only get one or two big actions to do in a match.

“It is something that takes a bit of getting used to, so there are no real words of advice, but I am sure he will come good.”

 
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