THERE'S no doubt James McCarthy has a role to play at Celtic, that's according to mentor Billy Reid.
Birghton No2 Reid gave McCarthy his debut for Hamilton as a fresh-faced 15-year-old - and remains confident the midfielder can make an impact at Parkhead.
However, Reid also admits this summer is a massive one for McCarthy as he insisted the 31-year-old must work hard to get in condition to prove his worth next term.
He told the Sunday Mail: “James just needs to get himself into the physical condition where he can do himself justice at Celtic and this summer can be a huge one for him.
“He’s a player who needs a run of games and a good pre-season where he stays injury free and that’s something he’s not managed to achieve in the last few seasons."
McCarthy played 22 times for Celtic last season - with many of the appearances coming from the bench.
But Reid reckons McCarthy can prove himself at Celtic Park next season as he insisted he's backing the midfielder to shut his doubters up.
He added: “James is in a position where he needs to prove himself all over again and show Celtic the player he can be.
“He’s been blighted by injuries in the latter part of his career but people forget that he had an incredible amount of senior appearances as a teenager and had huge demands placed on him.
“Those challenges were met head on and he not only showed his ability but also a huge character which he’ll need to call upon once again.
“But nobody needs to convince me he can still be a big success at Celtic.
“There will be some who have their doubts but if James can get minutes under his belt then I’d back him to make the cynics eat their words."