Hoops' debutant Pressley promises more to come

January 3, 2007

Celtic debutant Steven Pressley won the man-of-the-match award in the Hoops' 2-0 win over Kilmarnock and then told Parkhead fans he can do better.

The former Hearts skipper was signed last Friday and put straight into the champions' defence at the expense of the rested Stephen McManus for the Bank of Scotland Premier League visit of the Ayrshire side.

Bobo Balde's broken leg and Gary Caldwell's groin problem necessitated an early debut for the Scotland defender, who looked comfortable after a shaky opening period.

Goals in each half by Darren O'Dea and substitute Aiden McGeady gave the home side the victory in a relatively low-key 90 minutes and afterwards Pressley said: 'It was very good result for us but there is still a bit to go from myself.

'I was thrown in earlier than possibly I would have expected.

'But due to injuries the manager had no option.

'I have only had two days training in the last five weeks so it wasn't ideal, but the only way you are going to get yourself match-fit, I suppose, is by playing games.

'So it was a good opportunity for me.'

The former Rangers defender admitted he was grateful to be cheered by the home fans from his first touch onwards but knows his recent move from Tynecastle back to one of the Old Firm clubs brings its own peculiar demands.

He said: 'The fans gave me a very nice reception and I was delighted with that.

'I just hope that I can win them over by my performances in the weeks and months ahead.

'There is a greater pressure here (than at Hearts).

'Obviously it's different playing in a stadium of this size and there is greater expectation.

'You are expected to win games and you have to win games.'

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies, who was sent to the stand by referee Steve Conroy in the second half for 'threatening behaviour' towards assistant referee Brian McGarry, admits his side ran out of steam towards the end.

He said: 'Even though we were always in the game we tired a little bit because we put in so much effort.

'It was Frazer Wright's first game for three or four weeks.

'Simon Ford has just come back and he was off the pace a little bit.

'But we had some chances in the game and I thought we played well.'