KRIS COMMONS reckons Celtic’s kids are growing up fast in Europe this season.
And the midfielder believes the heartache of losing a two-goal lead against Fenerbahce will hasten the ageing process.
Left-back Keiran Tierney made his European debut in the 2-2 draw with the Turks before being replaced by on-loan Manchester United starlet Tyler Blackett.
Dedryck Boyata, signed from Manchester City for £1.5million in the summer, lasted 90 minutes after playing the entire first game against Ajax in Amsterdam which also ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
Commons points out that the average of the three defenders is a mere 21.
“We’ve still got a very young team and, of course, Kieran played his first Europa League tie against Fenerbahce,” said the former Scotland international who scored the Hoops’ second goal that evening.
“So for him to play against that sort of opposition and still do extremely well is a credit to him.
“Dedryck Boyata and Tyler Blackett were involved, too, so, basically, a large percentage of our back four haven’t played a lot of football together.
“The more games you play, though, the more confident you are and if you play against that sort of opposition and you play well, then that gives you the foundation and the belief that you do belong there.
“You can walk about with your chest out as you’re not only a Celtic player, but a Celtic player playing in Europe.”
Ronny Deila’s team now travel to face Molde a week on Thursday with the underdogs already on top of Group A after a 3-1 win away from home against Fenerbahce and a 1-1 draw at home with Ajax.
Commons thinks back-to-back clashes with the Norwegians are likely to define Celtic’s European hopes for this season with the return in Glasgow on November 5.
He added: “The games against Molde will obviously be pivotal as to whether we can progress from this group.
“If we can pick up points away from home then that would be a a huge plus and I fancy us against anyone at home.
“I think we are playing well at the moment, but there is plenty of competition for places with the lads on the bench all itching to play.
“Earlier on in the season, and especially towards the end of the last campaign, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong were the preferred guys, so they’re itching to get back on and that keeps me and James Forrest on our toes.
“We’ve got to keep performing, we’ve got to keep scoring goals and if we can do that it’s going to be difficult to drop us.”