LIAM SCALES looks at his remarkable somersault in fortunes and insists: “Football is a mad game.”

The Celtic defender can hardly believe the upturn of events since returning to his parent club in the summer following his season-long loan at Aberdeen.

The Hoops were in the process in shelling out £7.3million to bring in new centre-backs in Maik Nawrocki, £4.3million from Legia Warsaw, and Gustaf Lagerbielke, £3million from Elfsborg.

Cameron Carter-Vickers was an acknowledged rock in the middle of the rearguard, Carl Sarfelt was heading for the exit with Celta Vigo his destination while Stephen Welsh was also in contention.

GREEN FOR GO…Liam Scales has the backing of the Celtic fans.

The smart money was on Scales, a £600,000 signing from Shamrock Rovers in August 2021, returning to Pittodrie on another year-long temporary transfer.

Now, though, the Republic of Ireland international is a shoo-in for Brendan Rodgers and he will almost certainly take his place in the starting line-up against Livingston at Parkhead tomorow afternoon.

The player has travelled a long way in a short space of time. Following a dreadful spell in the north east when the Dons were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Ayrshire Juniors Darvel and thumped 6-0 at Easter Road on the day boss Jim Goodwin knew the sack was on its way, Scales wondered about his future.

The 25-year-old left-sided operator admitted: “You have to move on. I’ve been through that spell and taken good things out of it.

“Football is a mad game. It’s so unpredictable. I couldn’t have predicted this, especially at that point.

“I was probably looking at other things to do after that Hibs game – early retirement! You go through spells when it doesn’t go your way and you think: ‘This is it – it’s only going downwards’.

“But it doesn’t work like that. It’s up and down. I’ve probably been playing long enough now to know that.”

RISE AND SHINE…determined Liam Scales gets up high to clear against Ross County in Dingwall with Anthony Ralston standing by.

The champions, after carelessly throwing away six vital points in dismal back-to-back defeats from Kilmarnock and Hearts, have been on the receiving end of some scathing observations from a clearly agitated Rodgers.

Scales, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I can see where he’s coming from. Obviously, it’s not nice to hear, but performances haven’t been where they should probably be.

“He makes a good point. It does hurt as a player to hear that. We need to change that and not let that be the case again.

“It’s been breaking things down and looking at where we can improve. It’s in the past now. At half-time at St Johnstone he wanted an immediate reaction and it worked.

“But a couple of days after the game, there’s no point in still being angry and having shouting matches.

“It’s really just about working on the training pitch, doing video analysis and working out ways to be better.

“It’s been good to have the week to prepare as we’ve managed to do proper sessions on how we are going to take the game to Livingston.”

Scales added: “The quality here is brilliant. Even though we haven’t reached our full potential, the quality and depth of the squad is great.

“If the manager wants to make changes in January, then he’s in charge and that’s his choice. It’s about finding form and confidence.

“We feel we sometimes expect it to just happen. Just playing at home or against teams in the league, just expecting it to happen without taking it by the horns and being aggressive and going and winning.

“We can’t just show up and it’s maybe where we need to brush up.”

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