Under normal circumstances, Celtic probably would have given Matt O’Riley some more time to adjust to his new surroundings and teammates before handing him his debut for the club. But with David Turnbull, Yosuke Ideguchi and Callum McGregor out injured, and Tom Rogic on international duty, it is safe to say that the circumstances right now are far from normal or ideal.
As a result, O’Riley ended up making his debut in one of the toughest games possible, as he played from the start away against Hearts, who have been in terrific form and would have been confident of their own chances.
It is safe to say that O’Riley put in a very impressive performance for Celtic and even got an assist for himself. Of course, there are things that he will not look back on too fondly as well but overall, it was a debut to remember for the Hoops’ new signing.
He had to be brought off late on though and considering how Celtic’s luck with injuries has been recently, fans would be forgiven for fearing another one. This time around though, it seems to have been cramps. As reported by 67 Hail Hail, O’Riley told Sky Sports Football post-match:
“I’m alright. I’m just getting used to it I think. I haven’t played a game in a couple of weeks to be fair, so I’m getting up to speed.
“But come that 80-minute mark my calf just seized up a bit. It was a tough game so it makes sense doesn’t it? I’m really happy with the game overall, and now it’s time to rest up and go again on Saturday.”
O’Riley hands Celtic a timely injury boost
It is safe to say that Celtic cannot afford another injury, especially in midfield, at this point of time. They are already lacking options in the middle of the park as it is.
This was the kind of game that the Hoops could have easily lost last season but ultimately, they managed to come out with a huge three points against Hearts with a 2-1 win with Reo Hatate and Giorgos Giakoumakis getting their names on the scoresheet.
There is no time to reflect though as the games keep coming thick and fast, with their next game against Dundee United. And hopefully, O’Riley will be in the starting XI for that one as well.
This article was originally posted here