Rising Celtic star McGowan out to win over Lennon
Paul McGowan has given himself two more years to make the grade at Celtic Park.
The 22-year-old striker had loan spells at Hamilton and Morton under Gordon Strachan but had eventually forced his way into Tony Mowbray's plans before the disastrous 4-0 defeat at St Mirren in March ended the Englishman's tenure in the Hoops’ hot seat.
McGowan was immediately dropped by interim boss Neil Lennon and resurfaced for the first time in the 2-1 friendly defeat against AZ Alkmaar at Parkhead on Wednesday night. He later revealed he had signed a two-year extension to his contract which was due to end in the summer but knows the challenge to find regular first time football remains.
The former Celtic Youth player said: “When the last manager (Mowbray) came in he said I wasn't part of his plans.
“Twice I could have gone out on loan but I knocked it back.
“I was confident I could push on and I kept doing well in training and the rewards came. Mowbray took a liking to me, played me and then his sacking came — but that's football. I thought I would have played more but it's not really been happening. So I need to do it all again.
“It's going to be hard but I'm up for the challenge. Neil knows what I can do and hopefully I can do it again.
“Neil phoned me up and asked me what was happening with my contract and I told him. He told me to come in to have a talk with John Park (Football Development Manager) and I was happy with the terms and happy to sign again.
“I was in a no-win situation. I'm not 23 yet. If I knocked it back then someone has to come in and pay x amount in compensation and to be realistic there is no money going around in the game.
“But that wasn't a problem, I was delighted to sign it and I am confident in myself, whichever manager comes in.”