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Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 13:57 UK

Killen backed for Celtic future

Chris Killen scored twice in Australia
Killen has been a peripheral figure during his time at Celtic

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray will give Chris Killen every chance to press for a regular place after the striker scored twice against Brisbane Roar.

The New Zealand international had only netted once in his previous 28 appearances for the club.

"I know Chris Killen can score goals," said Mowbray after the 3-0 win.

"He's physically very, very strong and a team player. If he carries on in the same vein as he did today, will he have a future? Yes."

During his time at Hibernian, Mowbray signed Killen from Oldham and the 27-year-old moved on to Celtic under freedom of contract in the summer of 2007.

However, Killen started just three games in his first season and was struck down by injury at the beginning of last term.

He played four games on loan at Norwich in February, all as a substitute - without finding the net.

Killen has another year to run on his contract but faces competition for a place up front from Scott McDonald, Georgios Samaras, new signing Marc-Antoine Fortune and youngsters Cillian Sheridan and Ben Hutchison.

"Everyone has got an opportunity, the strikers ultimately get judged by the goals they score and their general team play and I think Chris is good at all of those things," added Mowbray.

"He knows he's got a fight on his hands to get the minutes on the pitch to be able to do the damage. He's a good lad and a good professional.

"The best teams have competition for places and Chris Killen will hopefully intensify that competition for our club."


Killen, who scored 19 goals in 31 appearances for Hibs and netted twice in New Zealand's recent friendly with Italy, said: "We've got good strikers at the club and there are plenty more coming through.

"You've got to keep on your toes, work hard and keep your head down."

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see also
Boruc shines in Brisbane victory
12 Jul 09 |  Celtic

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