McCourt still in Lennon plans
Paddy McCourt has been assured by Celtic boss Neil Lennon that he has a big role to play this season.
Last Updated: 07/02/11 5:07pm
Northern Ireland midfielder Paddy McCourt has been given assurances by Celtic boss Neil Lennon that he has a big role to play this season.
McCourt has become a regular fixture in his fellow countryman's line-up over recent months, but was not even on the bench for Sunday's Old Firm Scottish Cup match at Rangers.
The 27-year-old sat among his fellow supporters at Ibrox as his side battled to come back twice from behind to draw 2-2 with their great rivals to force a replay.
But McCourt, who is currently preparing for his country's Carling Nations Cup match against Scotland on Wednesday, is confident he still has a lot to offer.
"I had a chat with the manager on Sunday and as you know there are only five substitutes in a cup game and I think that played against me," he said.
"He reassured me that was the reason why and hopefully I will be involved next week.
"At the start of the season he wanted me there and he convinced me to stay at the club.
"I have played a lot of football this year and I have been fairly happy.
"I was a wee bit disappointed not to be involved, it was the first time it had happened this season.
"I watched it in with the fans, when the players aren't involved at Ibrox that's where you go.
"It was a good experience but I would much rather have been on the pitch.
"The fans got behind the team and the team responded. Even when we were down to 10 men we still kept passing the ball.
"We have plenty of footballers who like to get on the ball and pass it and that showed in the game."
The Hoops have dominated both games played at Ibrox so far this season and possibly should have come out as winners, but McCourt does not want supporters to expect too much the next time they visit the blue side of Glasgow.
"We probably deserved to win the last two games at Ibrox but Rangers are a good side and there is no way it's going to be the case that we are going to beat them every time," the former Derry City winger said.
"I'm sure they probably came away thinking they were maybe lucky to get the replay so they will be going out all guns blazing to put things right."