NEW Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed has promised the Celtic fans he will improve as the games comes thick and fast.
The Israeli right-back, who joined from Hapoel Be’er Sheva for £1.2million last month, played well in last night’s 1-1 draw with Cluj in the first leg of the Champions League third round qualifier in Romania.
Elhamed was replaced by Nir Bitton in the 86th minute and the 28-year-old defender looked exhausted coming off the pitch, as CQN stated in the match report.
He revealed after the hard-fought encounter it had been only his second match in THREE months – and he lasted a mere 51 minutes of the first one in the 7-0 Premiership opening romp against St Johnstone on Saturday before limping off with a dead leg.
However, he recovered to face Cluj and help the Hoops to within 90 minutes of a play-off place against Slavia Prague with the return leg against Dan Petrescu’s side due in Glasgow on Tuesday.
Elhamed, speaking to Celtic TV after the stalemate in Transylvania, said: “It’s a good result for us and now we need to be ready for the second leg.
“It’s a big fight, but at Celtic Park, our fans will support us very well and I believe we can win that game and go through to the play-off.
“Before last Saturday, my last game had been three months ago. I did my best and tried to give 100 per cent, as I do in every game.
“I’m very happy to start well with Celtic, which is very important for me, and I’m hoping that in the matches to come, I’ll get better and better to make sure I’m 100 per cent fit.”
Looking back at his debut, Elhamad added: “It was a fantastic atmosphere and it’s something I dreamt about. I said before that this is a dream come true and I enjoyed the experience on Saturday.
“Now I can’t wait to play at Celtic Park in the Champions League.
“It was good for me to start and to do well. I came here to be an important player and try to be one of the best and that’s what I’m going to try to do every week and give everything in every game.”