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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ben Banks

Celtic star backed to perform Scott Brown style revival at Parkhead after difficult season

He's had a testing first year back in Scottish football - but former Hamilton boss Billy Reid is in no doubt James McCarthy can shine at Celtic.

The Accies legend joined the Hoops last summer and claimed Premiership title glory earlier this month, although his minutes were limited throughout the campaign.

It was the midfielder's first foray back in Scotland since leaving New Douglas Park for Wigan almost 13 years ago.

Reid - now assistant manager to boss Graham Potter at Premier League club Brighton - handed the Republic of Ireland international his senior chance when he was a teenager and was not scared about a dip in at the deep end.

McCarthy is held in high regard in South Lanarkshire as one of their finest academy products after making the club millions following just shy of 100 senior appearances, with Reid believing in his ability to return stronger.

Celtic icon Scott Brown bounced back from critics writing him off time and time again before his eventual Parkhead exit last year, and the former Accies star has been backed for similar.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Reid said: “I remember when we won the Championship at Hamilton and James was 16. The usual questions started about whether he could do it in the Premiership.

"James answered them by dominating the Young Player of the Year awards in Scotland. There is a role for James at Celtic.

"He’s not the box-to-box player he was, he’s adapted to become a sitting midfielder where he can do the dirty side.

"Keeping it simple as a possession-based player, winning the ball back and being that central cog is what he’s so good at.

“There is stiff competition but it doesn’t matter what age you are, age is not a barrier. I look at Mark Noble who I saw when we played West Ham last week, he’s still at the top despite being 35 years old.

“Scott Brown was being written off every season after he turned 30 but look at the size of his character to show people they are wrong. He always came back stronger.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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