HE’S every Celtic fan’s favourite Derry man, and the large contingent of Donegal supporters who were at Parkhead on Saturday left disappointed with a draw with Inverness Caley Thistle, but delighted to have seen Paddy McCourt shine for the Hoops once again.
The brilliant play-maker came off the bench in the 9th minute after an injury to Shaun Maloney.
And in the 65th minute he helped set up Celtic’s opener for Ki Sung Yeung – before a typical McCourt goal.
He picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, passed four ICT defenders and then calmly slotted the ball home, taking time to dummy the keeper too!
Celtic fans were devastated however after a slack Hoops defence allowed Inverness to eventually level the game at 2-2.
Rangers game with Dundee United was cancelled because of the weather on Sunday, and they are now two points clear of the Celts with a game in hand.
Local fans of the Hoops have been calling for a start for McCourt and his performance on Saturday will given Neil Lennon food for thought.
Asked if he deserved a start every week, McCourt said: “I have said it a million times, I hope so. But at the end of the day that’s the manager’s decision.
“I think I have played in most games this season either coming on or from the start.
“I’m quite happy with the way things have gone personally but I just think that we need to be mentally stronger and when things are not going well in the last 10 or 15 minutes of a game, we stay stronger and see games out.”
Lennon was furious with his team and blamed ‘slapstick defending’ for Celtic dropping two points for the second week in a row.
The angry Lurgan man said: “It was worse than deja vu. I am absolutely livid. It’s not the goals, it’s the manner of the goals we lost from a very strong position.”
He added: “We were two nil up and looking comfortable. It’s a bit of complacency, slackness, lack of concentration and it’s not good enough.
“You can’t afford to do that at any level, never mind this level.
“The first goal is slapstick defending. It’s two centre halves who are pretty consistent but who just give a simple goal away without the opposition having to work for it.”