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Eoghan O'Connell makes early mark in Celtic career against St Mirren

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic manager Ronny Deila noted Eoghan O'Connell taking another quiet step in his Celtic career against St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Irishman replaced the injured Jason Denayer in the 3-0 League Cup win over Hearts at Parkhead on Wednesday night before making his fourth appearance of the season in the 2-1 Premiership victory over the Buddies.

Most of the fuss after the match at St Mirren Park was around Hoops striker John Guidetti, who fired in the second half winner and also claimed the opener just before the break, despite Saints' player/coach Jim Goodwin appearing to take the final touch in a melee which also involved Buddies' keeper Marian Kello.

There was also laughter in the media room when Deila revealed Kris Commons missed the game with a buttock injury, although the Norwegian is hoping the midfielder will be back for the Europa League clash with Dinamo Zagreb at Celtic Park on Thursday night.

And while not best pleased with his side's performance, the former Stromsgodset boss was impressed by former Hoops' youth player O'Connell, who went about his job at the heart of the Celtic defence with minimal fuss.

"He is progressing," said Deila. "He was better than he was on Wednesday, he was a little bit nervous then.

"Against St Mirren he played with confidence and won a lot of challenges in the air.

"He is only 19 years old and he is a talented player."

St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean levelled for the home side just after the break but Guidetti restored Celtic's lead in the 63rd minute to take the points back to the east end of Glasgow.

The defeat kept Saints in second bottom with only one win in seven league games.

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