Brendan Rodgers praises Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell's pre-season displays

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conference

Eoghan O’Connell could feature for Celtic against FC Astana later this evening.

Celtic - Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has told the club’s official website that he has been very impressed by Eoghan O’Connell over pre-season.

O’Connell has been training with the first-team, and he has even been handed a series of chances in friendly matches.

The young defender has featured fairly prominently, and his display against Leicester City was particularly impressive.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented to the fans after the press conference

And Rodgers said: "I have been really impressed in particular by young Eoghan over the course of pre-season. He’s a good size. First and foremost he wants to defend.

"In the short period of time I've worked with him, I can see he is good in the air. He has been in and around the first-team for a few years now and he’s had some loan experience playing senior football.

“He was up against a tough opponent at the weekend. Even though Leicester were only back a few weeks, my experience of working with the players at that level is that they come back into the season already fit. They were at a good level of fitness and I felt Eoghan coped with that very well – the speed of their team.”

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers poses after the press conference

O’Connell has made just six first-team appearances at Celtic to date, and he only featured once last campaign.

The 20-year-old has also been on loan spells with both Oldham Athletic and Cork City in recent times.

Whether O’Connell will break into Rodgers’ first-team remains to be seen, as the Northern Irish boss now has more options in the centre of his defence following the arrival of Kolo Toure.

O’Connell could yet feature for Celtic against Astana later this evening in the Champions League, however.

The Bhoys take on Kazakhstani side today in the first-leg of their qualification tie.

General view of Celtic Park

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