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McCarthy Delighted With Celina
Thursday, 7th Sep 2017 18:05

Blues boss Mick McCarthy says he’s been delighted with the attitude shown by on-loan Manchester City winger Bersant Celina, who is still to make his first Championship start for Town.

The 20-year-old Kosovo international’s only starts so far were in the Carabao Cup ties at Luton and Crystal Palace with his first Championship appearance having come as a sub in the 2-0 defeat to Fulham in the final game before the international break.

Since then Celina, whose first few of months at Portman Road have been hampered by illness, has made two U23s appearances and scored a stunning freekick in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.

“He scored an even better one this morning in training with the outside of his foot,” McCarthy said. “He’s certainly got something.

“He’s been here for 12 weeks but he’s been ill for about seven of them, so he’s been playing catch-up. But he played well in the U23s games and he’s looking very sharp.

“I guess if you’re coming from Manchester City you ought to have a bit of something, and he has.

“He does things that you’re just never going to coach. And he does things as well that you wouldn’t coach!

“If we get him in the final third with the ball and he can do his bit there, then he’s a real threat, there’s no doubt about that.

“We saw that with the game against Luton and we’ve seen it in training. He was poorly and then we’d won five games on the bounce, he’s got to wait his time and get in and when he gets in he’s got to make sure he plays well and stays in.”

In addition to his more obvious skills and flair, McCarthy says Celina has shown a willingness to dig in and do his fair share of the other side of the game.

“He’s doing that, to be fair,” McCarthy said. “I’ve no problem with that at all. He’s had a really good attitude towards it, I’ve been delighted with him.

“His attitude’s been great, you’re questioning like there’s some undercurrent about something being wrong with his attitude, there’s that little undercurrent. Well, there is about being a Mick McCarthy player.

“Mick McCarthy likes the best players, Mick McCarthy likes players who play really good football and are competitive.

“And, depending on where I am and what we spend and what we get, I’ll take the competitive side of it always if we having to have a scrap about it because I know what I’m going to get out of players.

“And he’s got a bit of both, his attitude’s been great. I’ve been really delighted with that, he’s tracked back in every time he’s played, I thought he did it at Luton really well, I thought he did it at Crystal Palace really well.

“My criticism at Crystal Palace was, ‘Don’t give the bloody ball away’ because when we’re breaking up the field I want us to have, and I bang on about this with the lads, if we’re breaking we want to end up with a goal, a penalty, a freekick, a corner, a throw-in and then sixth it might be in the keeper’s hands, seventh might be that they nick it off you and break up the pitch.

“Any of those five prior to them doing that. That wasn’t happening, we were breaking on them and they were having a shot at our goal.

“We’ve explained that to him, but his attitude has been great and if we can get him on the pitch and he does all of it, then we may have a player.

“And likewise with Danny Rowe, he conducted himself brilliantly [in the U23s], all of them did. Tom Adeyemi, they were all excellent in terms of their attitude.

“Must be nice for Nashy [Gerard Nash], our U23s coach to win back to back games, it doesn’t happen too often.”

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midastouch added 18:59 - Sep 7
Mick please make sure Celina is in the starting line up for the Norwich game!

blaggers added 19:26 - Sep 7
Mick McCarthy "Don't give the bloody ball away" - You are having a laugh, right?

christiand added 19:54 - Sep 7
I reckon his position and where he can have the most influence is where McGoldrick plays. I would love to see him and McGoldrick starting and playing well would certainly give us some flair and the ability to do something different or unexpected.

rfretwell added 21:50 - Sep 7
Well Micks quite right there. The punters who commented above cant have been at Palace cause Celina lost the ball so many times when attacking down the left. But he scored in the end ,cue wild celebrationns. Its hard to see him reaching Tom Lawrences level for us but heres hoping!

prebbs007 added 22:16 - Sep 7
Has to play ahead of Sears. Square pegs and all of that. More of a goal threat than sears. More creative. Will work back. Just a better player !!! Start him Saturday !!!

leftie1972 added 11:08 - Sep 8
Celina and Didz linked up really well in pre-season so they should start imho.

midastouch added 12:06 - Sep 8
I'm of the opinion that if the player makes an effort to beat a man (and has the ability to do it) it's well worth the risk of losing possession. As long as it's done in sensible areas, so for example in the opponent's half ideally. It's well worth the risk in situations such as on a fast break, or down the channels so a ball could be cut back or a telling cross could be put in. This is how goal scoring opportunities are made. If you look to play it safe you won't create anywhere near as many chances. It's a game of percentages. Any full back will tell you their worst nightmare is somebody that keeps running at them with pace and skill. If you try and rein him it might affect his natural game and confidence and then we only have half the player we might of. He just needs to be told to do it in areas that can hurt the opposition rather than in areas where it might be more costly to lose possession. Few things get the fans excited a somebody with pace that can beat him and create potential match winning opportunities. Without those sort of players there is nobody than can easily pick apart the lock and it makes it that much harder to score. Of course there are set pieces (and Celina has a heck of a free kick) but relying too heavily on corners and free kicks instead of being able to carve opportunities from open play means you are going to struggle in the long run more than teams that can pick you apart with flair and creativity.

midastouch added 12:08 - Sep 8
ignore the typos, my enthusiasm for footballing flair was getting ahead of me! :-)

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