Celtic’s Bolingoli admits his defending needs more work

Celtic’s new left-back Boli Bolingoli said he needed to improve on his defending following his debut at Celtic Park.

Bolingoli impressed going forward in Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Sarajevo, which sealed a 5-2 aggregate win and a tie against Estonians Nomme Kalju in the Champions League second qualifying round.

The Belgian had several efforts on goal and got round the outside of the Bosnian defence on a number of occasions.

But his loose pass led to the visitors’ second-half equaliser and manager Neil Lennon later said he would have to temper the summer signing’s attacking instincts.

Former Rapid Vienna player Bolingoli was grateful for Callum McGregor firing home a well-deserved winner with 15 minutes left.

“The goal was my fault,” the 24-year-old said. “That can always happen but we have to avoid these kind of mistakes at the back. I am happy that my team-mates helped me and we got the win.

“I am still learning. In my youth I was an offensive player and I am still learning my defensive parts. I know that I still need to progress in my defensive part but I have to do better. I’m a left-back so the first thing is defending.

“My offensive qualities I have already so I have to become a better defensive player.

“I think the tactics are perfect for me because I’m an offensive player and Celtic play offensively, they like to have the ball. In future it will be even better.”

Lennon was generally pleased with Bolingoli’s home debut after the defender shook off an ankle injury to play.

“It was sort of a mixed bag,” Lennon said. “I wasn’t happy with the goal we conceded but his attacking play was very, very good at times.

“He can be pleased with his contribution. You can see that he has a bit of work to do.

“He’s only been in a week and he didn’t train for three or four days after the first leg due to his ankle, so he can be delighted with his contribution on his home debut, no question.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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