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Lennon hails Celtic's super sub Balde

By Ronnie Esplin

Partick Thistle 1 Celtic 2: Neil Lennon told Celtic fans to expect to see more of Amido Balde after the big striker came off the bench to score the clincher in the 2-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill.

The 22-year-old, born in Bissau but who has represented Portugal at under-20 level, has been consigned mostly to the bench since signing from Vitoria Guimaraes in the summer for a reported fee of around £1.7million on a four-year deal.

Balde scored after coming off the bench in a comfortable 5-2 win against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in September but he proved to be the difference in Maryhill, after Jags striker Kris Doolan had cancelled out the first-half opener from Georgios Samaras.

However, in the 75th minute Balde, on for Beram Kayal nine minutes earlier, finished off a solo run by sliding the ball past Partick keeper Scott Fox to leave the Hoops unbeaten in the league this season.

The Celtic boss said: "We know what we have got with Amido. He knows and we know that he is here for the long haul and we are going to try to polish off the rough edges that he has.

"We think he has got great attributes and we saw that today.

"He has been very patient. He understands where he is within the squad and he will be a good player for Celtic.

"I have maintained that as the season progresses we will see more of Amido.

"He hasn't got frustrated, he is listening and trying to learn and you can see he brings a different dimension to the team.

"When things get a bit physical, he is a great option to have and I thought his goal was terrific.

"It was a good game, a good test for us. In spells we weren't at our best but it was a great win.

"We should have been home and hosed at half-time, we had three really great chances on top of the goal we scored."

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