COMEBACK Bhoy Anthony Ralston was praised by beaming boss Brendan Rodgers after his goalscoring return in the 3-0 win over Motherwell at Parkhead last night.
The right-back came in for his first appearance of the season and fired in the opening strike as the Hoops raced to a three-goal advantage before the interval with Scott Sinclair (pen) and Mikey Johnston adding the others.
The champions are now back on top of the Premiership and Rodgers was delighted.
He said: “Anthony was great after getting back to the level of playing and training he was at a year or so ago.
“He’s a player I really liked. I watched him grow and, if you remember, I put him in against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and he did very well.
“He later had an injury and he was never quite the same after coming back from it, but he got some games on loan to Dundee United.
“Then it was really about timing. He needed to improve, but he’s stuck with it and improved by working hard.
“His goal was a fantastic finish and young Mikey got his goal to finish off a really good move of quick passing and combinations.
“It was great for those young boys who have trained with us a lot to make their contributions, which will help their careers here.
“They are growing all of the time and it was a good night’s work as we played very well, particularly in the first-half.
“As you can imagine, we’re getting to the end of an exhausting period, but the players were bright.”
Rodgers was also happy with the display of 33-year-old skipper Scott Brown who was making his 500th appearance.
The manager presented his captain with a jersey pre-match to commemorate the landmark and added: “We gave Scott a round of applause afterwards in the dressing room because to play that number of games for a club like this here with the pressure is fantastic.
“It is a real testament to professionalism, perseverance and persistence to look after yourself. Then the quality.
“You see what he is now. He controls the game. I thought he and Callum McGregor were very good in there ticking the game over and being aggressive when they had to be.”
The Hoops went back to the pinnacle by a point following Hibs’ goalless draw with Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side at Easter Road.
Rodgers will now welcome Dundee to Glasgow on Saturday before he takes his team to Aberdeen for the Boxing Day clash and then it’s a trip across Glasgow to take on the Govan outfit three days later.