Brendan Rodgers wants Anthony Ralston to kick on from two contrasting experiences.
Within the space of a week the young full-back came up against the might of Paris Saint Germain before enjoying a more mundane win over Ross County.
Ralston has still to reach double figures in terms of Celtic appearances but has the backing of a manager determined to put the best young talent into his first team plans.
â€œHe is improving but he needs to get better with his serving of the ball,â€� Rodgers told the Evening Times discussing Ralston’s display against Ross County. â€œDefensively he is very strong, very committed and of course supporters love that but he will have watched Danni Alves the other night hardly give the ball away and Tony was a bit hit and miss with his passing [against Ross County.]
â€œHe needs to improve that element of his game â€“ when to run with it, when to pass it, when to dribble it but that all comes with experience and he has a great mentality. He wants to improve, he wants to get better.
â€œTo have played two performances like he has done this week shows we are gaining a player for the now but also for the future. At 18 years of age there is still a lot of work to do but he is showing great signs. â€œ
With Dedryck Boyata failing to make the bench on Saturday it looks like Ralston could keep his place for Wednesday’s League Cup tie with Dundee at Dens Park.
Ralston’s form has eased the pressure on Celtic’s central defence where Mikael Lustig has played alongside Jozo Simunovic.
After Dundee Celtic travel to Sevco and Anderlecht which will be the big tests of how far Ralston has come and how much he has developed in Rodgers eyes.