Caldwell hails McDonald
Gary Caldwell has praised team-mate Scott McDonald's battling qualities.
Last Updated: 30/10/08 9:43pm
Celtic defender Gary Caldwell has praised team-mate Scott McDonald's battling qualities.
His comments come after the striker has endured a difficult start to his second season with the Hoops
McDonald joined Celtic from Motherwell in the summer of 2007 and was Scotland's top scorer last term with 31 goals.
But he has come in for some criticism this term for failing to replicate that goalscoring form, having netted just four goals, the latest in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock in Tuesday's Co-operative Insurance Cup quarter-final clash.
But the striker's cause has not been helped as strike partners Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Georgios Samaras have picked up injuries in recent weeks.
This left McDonald to play a lone striker's role against Man Utd in their UEFA Champions League clash and then partner Irish teenager Cillian Sheridan against Hibernian in the SPL and team-up with Shaun Maloney against Kilmarnock.
Caldwell said: "When Scott came in people didn't really have any expectations but he showed what a good player he is.
"To raise your game again and keep that going, that is the difficult bit in football.
"He's come through a period where he has not scored as many goals but he has always been a good team-mate and he was excellent against Kilmarnock.
"He has stepped up to the plate with the bigger guys out injured.
"We have shown what a good team we are at passing the ball and Scott is very good at holding it up and he's a handful for every defence."
Celtic were also missing Stephen McManus, Chris Killen and Marc Crosas for the Kilmarnock game, meaning boss Gordon Strachan gave his first start of the season to defender Darren O'Dea, while midfielder Massimo Donati made a rare appearance.
Caldwell added: "It was a tough cup tie and we had to be right mentally. I thought the attitude was first class and the performance was very good.
"We have the squad to rotate and anyone who comes in seems to do the job as good, if not better, than the next person.
"We are playing good attacking football and scoring lots of goals and it's good to be a part of it."
Strachan's injury problems got worse on Wednesday when Dutch defender Glenn Loovens revealed he would miss the next two or three weeks with a thigh injury.
He told STV: "The club told me a few weeks so hopefully it goes a bit quicker than that. It's never nice to be injured with those nice games coming up but that's football."