Agathe blow for Bhoys
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
CELTIC boss Martin O'Neill says that the loss of Didier Agathe is a massive blow for the club.
O'Neill was boosted by Henrik Larsson's return to fitness ahead of their Uefa Cup battle with Liverpool on Thursday but the news on Agathe is a huge setback.
The flying French winger limped out of the Old Firm derby on Saturday and scans have confirmed that he has torn his hamstring and will be out for up to six weeks with the injury.
Agathe has been in impressive form down the right wing for Celtic recently, including their Uefa Cup win over Stuttgart.
Despite Larsson's recovery being a major boost for O'Neill for the visit of Liverpool, he says the loss of Agathe is a huge blow for the tie, and also their SPL campaign.
"It is an absolutely massive blow for us and there is no doubt that we could have done with him against Liverpool on Thursday night," said O'Neill.
"Didier has been back to his best recently. In our European matches he has been especially terrific for us.
"No-one will forget his performance in Stuttgart where he was absolutely outstanding and was given great credit for our win by no less a manager than Felix Magath.
"He has been terrific and it is another big loss for us."
Agathe wants his Bhoys team-mates to do their best against The Reds, but will find it hard to watch the game from the stands.
"I really hope that the team plays well and gets a good result on Thursday against Liverpool, but I know that it will be very difficult to watch the game from the stand," said the 27-year-old.
"After the result on Saturday the confidence is high, and if we get a good result against Liverpool then it will give us another boost going into the game against Rangers on Sunday at Hampden.
"It's a shame that the injury happened at this time because it is not often that you get the chance to play in the quarter finals of the Uefa Cup."
Meanwhile, Celtic youngster Sean Moloney has won the Bank of Scotland Young Player of the Month award for his good displays during February.