Celtic defender Carl Starfelt has revealed he wasn’t expecting to play in last night’s 1-0 victory over Hearts at Parkhead after just returning from injury.

The Swedish internationalist picked up the first man of the match award of his career in the win, putting in a solid defensive display, which we have grown to expect from the 26-year old after his recent performances.

However, it wasn’t expected that Starfelt would play on Thursday night after just returning from a lay-off through injury but was called into action late on due to the absence of Cameron Carter Vickers through personal issues.

Speaking to STV after the game, Starfelt said:

“It’s awful to be injured, very boring. I have been training individually for a while, and two sessions with the team and I was thrown right into it.

“I’m happy with the performance, a good win, we didn’t concede, which is nice as a centre-back, and the team showed character.

“it’s my first man of the match of my career, so I’m happy with that. You are never 100 per cent sure about fitness when you have been out and not trained so much, but I felt good fitness-wise.

“It was quite late (when I found out I was playing). I don’t think I would have played the game if Cameron (Carter Vickers) was here, but I am just happy I could play and help the team get three points.”

In an ideal scenario, I don’t think Ange would have kept the centre-back on for the entire 90 minutes, given his return from injury. However, he had no choice due to other injuries in the team during the game.

Despite that, Starfelt put in a superb performance at the back and is continuing to grow in confidence as the weeks go on.

Long may it continue, and hopefully, we can see the partnership of Starfelt and Carter Vickers return on Sunday against Dundee United after the injury to Stephen Welsh.


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