O'Neill planning to keep McNamara
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill has revealed his plans to open talks with Jackie McNamara over a new deal at Parkhead.
The versatile performer's contract expires next summer, but O'Neill is keen to tie him down to a long-term deal after being impressed by the Scottish international's form this term.
McNamara returned from injury in Saturday's 5-0 win over Kilmarnock and O'Neill feels he is seeing the best of the player now.
"I thought Jackie was exceptional against Kilmarnock," said O'Neill. "His performances this season haven't surprised me at all.
"I know he hasn't started all the games in the time I have been here but I'm not sure he has been fit for all that time.
"When he has been fit, he has always been there or thereabouts with regards to the first team.
"He has had a run in the side this season and has got great confidence from that and he has never let me down.
"His contract is up at the end of the season and I will be speaking to his agent about a new deal - but he has definitely revived both his club and Scotland career."
Meanwhile, Celtic starlet Liam Miller has been cleared to face Anderlecht after recovering from injury.
The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international was forced to hobble off late on against Kilmarnock with a suspected hamstring problem, but the injury has been revealed to have only been cramped and he is available for selection for Wednesday's crucial UEFA Champions League clash.