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Keeper Artur Boruc faces fight to regain Celtic jersey


Boruc not automatic number one - Mowbray

Artur Boruc faces a battle to regain his starting place after Celtic manager Tony Mowbray insisted he does not have an automatic first-choice goalkeeper.

Boruc was on the bench behind Lukasz Zaluska for Saturday's 3-0 victory over St Johnstone despite having returned from compassionate leave.

"They have always vied on equal terms," said Mowbray.

"I will take it on a game-by-game basis really. They both understand the situation here."

Boruc has been first choice at Celtic Park since arriving from Legia Warsaw, initially on a year's loan, in 2005 under than manager Gordon Strachan.

Zaluska was signed on a pre-contract agreement in January 2009 before joining under freedom of contract from Dundee United after Strachan had left the club that summer.

We have had no bids for Artur Boruc

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray

He has played 12 times for Celtic this season, stepping in while Boruc was injured and then taking over when his fellow Pole returned to his homeland following a family illness.

But Zaluska, who kept a clean sheet in the Scottish Cup victory over Kilmarnock, kept his place for Saturday's Scottish Premier League win over St Johnstone.

And Mowbray will next choose between the two on Wednesday, when Celtic travel to Paisley to take on St Mirren.

"Goalkeepers do that - one gets himself in the goal and has to play himself out of it," said the manager, who said that his choice will not necessarily be based on one of the players making a clear mistake.

"Unfortunately for Artur, it was not his performances to blame. His performances have been very, very good in recent matches.

"On compassionate grounds, he went back to Poland. Lukasz came in and did well and stayed in for the last game and we will see how that unravels."

Speaking before Saturday's kick-off, Mowbray had said the he was particularly keen to give Zaluska a chance to prove his worth in light of Boruc's contract coming to an end in 2011.

Boruc has in previous seasons been linked with major clubs in England, but Mowbray said: "We have had no bids for Artur.

"So, at this moment, Artur Boruc is getting his head down and working very hard to get back into the side. I am not anticipating any movement, but you never know.


"I think it is important for Lukasz that I get a look at him in competitive action and the pressure that goes with playing for the team home and away."

Mowbray had given 22-year-old striker Paul McGowan his first start for the club against St Johnstone, but the manager stressed that it should not be viewed as a sign of experimentation after giving up hope of winning the title.

"He had been so impressive in training and in games he had been playing for the second team and the kid needed an opportunity and I gave him that opportunity, which he grabbed with both hands," he said.

Mowbray would not be drawn on whether a victory over St Mirren, which would reduce Rangers' lead to seven points, could put pressure on the league leaders, even though Celtic would have played two more games.

"I am only interested in my team playing and winning football matches as we can only nibble away if we win our games," he added.

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see also
Celtic 3-0 St Johnstone
20 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Boruc to miss up to three weeks
31 Oct 09 |  Celtic
Boruc content to stay at Celtic
27 Sep 09 |  Celtic
Zaluska ready for Boruc challenge
06 Jul 09 |  Celtic
Boruc dropped from Poland squad
30 Mar 09 |  Celtic

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