Blinker returns to form


Celtic winger Regi Blinker yesterday credited the fans' party line to cheer his every move as the reason behind his return to form against Hibernian. There is little doubt Celtic would have won without Blinker, but the fact he more than played his part must have helped the player.

After failing to perform in the 1-0 defeat at Rangers, Blinker was sent off against Motherwell and in last week's win over Hearts was substituted after an hour, to widespread approval.

But that led head coach Wim Jansen to back the player and urge the Parkhead faithful to stop barracking a man short on confidence.

Such is the respect Jansen is held in at Celtic, having already brought the club only their second domestic trophy of the decade with the Scottish League Cup this season, the fans listened and acted.

Blinker said: "It was clear the Celtic fans wanted to give me another chance. That support gave me a great boost before starting the game, and throughout I have to say the fans were superb to me and always on my side."

But Blinker was keen to stress Saturday's 5-0 victory was a collective effort, with goals spread around the side - Morten Wieghorst, Jackie McNamara, Henrik Larsson and two from Craig Burley.

He explained: "I don't want the focus on me to detract from a team performance which I felt was very impressive."