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Adam Montgomery and Karamoko Dembele shine as Celtic beat St Johnstone

Celtic v St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy was encouraged by the performances of teenagers Adam Montgomery and Karamoko Dembele in the 4-0 win over St Johnstone.

Montgomery made his debut at left-back and fellow 18-year-old Dembele came off the bench to net his first senior goal.

“He (Montgomery) was probably a bit unfortunate not to play before now,” Kennedy said. “He has been in and around the first team for the last five or six months training with us.

Celtic v St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park

Karamoko Dembele on the ball against St Johnstone (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“With young players we offer them the chance to train and he made an impression and after a week or two you could see he could handle it, he was getting better, so we kept him around as much as we possibly could.

“I have been there myself as a young player, you need the opportunity and you could just see he was good to go.

“The difficult thing is with the Covid situation, he hasn’t played any games, so even being up to rhythm in the reserves and being match fit. We knew he would only last about 60 minutes but it was a great start for him. We have high hopes for him.”

Dembele showed pace and precision to burst on to David Turnbull’s pass and net from a tight angle.

Celtic v St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park

Celtic’s Michael Johnston in action during the win over St Johnstone (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“There’s been a lot of speculation in terms of Karamoko being out of contract in the summer but I don’t know there that’s coming from because he has another year left,” Kennedy said.

“Every young player has got a different pathway. Karamoko has been one who, probably from the age of 14, has been spoken about as the next superstar.

“People develop physically and in terms of their game at different rates. Some people are ready earlier than others. He is probably one who has still got a bit of development in him.

“He is a terrific talent, we know that. We spent a lot of time at the start of the season with him, we had to get him up to the level of intensity we need, and he has come back and showed himself well, and that’s why he got the minutes on the pitch. It was a great finish from him.”