When it comes to the No 1 at Celtic, there’s no doubt in Pat Bonner’s eyes who is at the top of the hit parade, writes Nick Rodger.
“Craig, no question,” he said of canny custodian Craig Gordon when asked who should start in goal for Celtic on Sunday when they square up to Rangersin the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.
Gordon made his return to the first team against Dundee last week after an injury-induced stint on the sidelines and marked his 200th Celtic appearance with a 100th clean sheet as he put in a calm, composed performance which looked like he had never been away.
In that respect, it’s not surprising that Gordon, who has certainly earned his corn down the seasons, is getting the whole-hearted support of Bonner ahead of this weekend’s tussle at Hampden.
“He’s fit, he’s raring to go and he produced some excellent saves in the Dundee game,” said Bonner of the man at the head of a three-man pecking order which also includes Scott Bain and Dorus de Vries.
“I watched him in the warm down, a little training session after the previous game against the Ross County game and Craig went through a routine there that told me he was ready.
“He’s the best goalkeeper of the three, I’ve no doubt. He’s got experience, produces big saves when it matters and is good enough on the ball. He’s got that experience about him so for me he goes straight into the team.
“Scott Bain has been nice and calm. I don’t think he’s been over-tested, to be honest. He’ll be delighted to have had that opportunity. I don’t think he would have expected that when he came.
“If they are going to sign him, he’d be a good signing. At 26, he’s the perfect age.
“He’s not the biggest in stature but he moves well, is good enough with the ball at his feet and he makes saves.
“Craig is 35, with dodgy knees, so what they need to be looking at is who is going to step in to be the No 1 in the future. If you get another two years out of Craig, that would be fantastic.
“But I think they’ll need to be looking at who’s next. Scott, at the moment, fits that profile. I’m not so sure about Dorus de Vries, to be honest.”