CRAIG Gordon is still in pole position to be Celtic’s No 1 goalkeeper for next season – but having Scott Bain pushing him in training every day can make him even better.

That is the view of Rab Douglas, the former Parkhead goalkeeper, who saw plenty of Bain at close hand via his Dundee connection.

Fresh from signing a bumper new four-year contract with the Parkhead side at the end of last season, the former Alloa, Dundee and Hibs custodian won his first cap for his country in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in the early hours of Sunday morning, a spell during which Scotland didn’t concede any further despite being his goal being placed under severe pressure from the rampant Central Americans.

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Douglas, speaking at a charity match in aid of St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie on Saturday, said Celtic can only benefit from having two top Scottish goalkeepers in their ranks.

“Craig is still the number one but Scott will certainly push him,” said Douglas. “I saw a lot of Scott at Dundee and he was very comfortable with the ball at his feet. It is a good thing for Craig to have someone of Scott’s calibre pushing him. Craig is still very slender and doesn’t seem to put weight on. He seems to be managing the injuries and there is nothing to stop him. He has another good few years left at the very least. He clearly looks after himself and is now more comfortable with the ball at his feet. He has made a big effort to get into the style Brendan Rodgers wants to play. At the start he didn’t look comfortable with it but he is now. He is a double treble winner so there is not much you can say to that.”

Douglas is an expert witness when it comes to the uncertain lot of the goalkeeper. Criticised in the aftermath of Celtic’s 3-2 Uefa Cup final loss to Porto, Douglas watched in horror as Loris Karius was subjected to death threats after his blunders cost Liverpool any chance they had of claiming the Champions League title. While things never got that bad for Douglas, he sympathasises with the German.

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“It’s tragic,” said Douglas. “Some of the stick he got was unbelievable. I’m glad Twitter wasn’t about when I was playing. I didn’t get any of them [death threats] thankfully. No player goes out not to play well. Even if you go back to Seville. We didn’t play as well as we should have. It is always easy to blame the goalie and it was heart-breaking he made two bad errors.

“Every keeper has been there,” Douglas added. “You show me a goalie who hasn’t made a mistake and I’ll show you a liar. You have got to have played that position to understand. He played his part in getting them there and you cannot forget that.”

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In a matter of weeks Celtic embark upon their latest European campaign. There is talk in some parts of attempting to reach the first continental final since the days of Douglas, but the goalkeeper feels just ensuring a third consecutive appearance in the group stages is achievement enough. “When you see what PSG and the likes of Zenit are spending on players it is frightening,” he said. “And what will Celtic get from winning the league? £3 million? It is a big ask. Just reaching the group stages would be amazing.”