Celtic keeper Scott Bain details everything he has learned from friend and foe Allan McGregor

It has been a successful week for Scott Bain without him lifting a glove.

After 42 caps, 16 clean sheets and those infamous two fingers, Allan McGregor has called time on his Scotland career.

That has catapulted Celtic keeper Bain to potential first-choice for the national team.

Ahead of a busy Sunday that sees him return to old club Dundee before jetting off with Scotland tonight, Bain celebrated the career of his Old Firm foe.

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And he insists that players like McGregor and Craig Gordon are as valuable off the park as on it as they can teach less-experienced heads like Bain a thing or two.

The 27-year-old said: “Last week’s news from Greegsy is a massive blow for the country.

“He’s a top goalkeeper and has been a great servant for the nation. He’ll be a big miss.

“There were a few things I learnt off him. Every time I was away I was impressed with how good he was.

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“There was his speed across the goal and his determination not to lose goals.

“His shot-stopping ability was second to none. It was great to work and push yourself to be at that level as well.

“When you work with players and keepers who are at that standard, you need to raise your game just to be in the same line as them.

“But Greegsy’s retirement means there’s a great chance for one keeper in the squad to step up.

“Since I have come to Celtic, I have just seen everything as
opportunities to play.

“This is another opportunity that I hope I can take if I am called on.”

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Bain insists the almost telepathic understanding of the Celtic
contingent within Alex McLeish’s side could be critical.

Five Celts are included in the squad to face Kazakhstan and San Marino, plus Lewis Morgan who is on loan at Sunderland.

Bain said: “There is a definite understanding between the players and you will have seen it in the last couple of games with Scotland.

“It helps the team. Everyone was on the same page and I hope that can be the same when we go away for these games.”

Opportunity is a word that self-assured Bain uses a lot.

It came knocking at the end of January 2018 when, having just joined Hibs that month, he moved again to Celtic without playing a game at Easter Road.

Now Bain returns to his old stomping ground of Dens Park, where he was frozen out under former gaffer Neil McCann.

Bain and McCann during happier times – before the pair fell out
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And the 27-year-old opened up on that frantic January that
culminated in a stellar Celtic debut in a 3-2 Old Firm win at Ibrox. He said: “It was such a short time. I always felt that come the January I would get a move somewhere and go on from there.

“You don’t expect it to go as well as it has and to come to Celtic and be playing at this moment.

“I can never say I expected this but I expected to get out and play because I knew I had the qualities and ability that a team would want to take.

“There’s still a few boys that were at Dundee when I was there.

Celtic goalkeepers Scott Bain and Craig Gordon
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“Most of the boys I played with have moved on to different
clubs. I’m just treating it like any other game.

“I made my debut at Ibrox and really enjoyed the Betfred Cup Final against Aberdeen.

“Since coming in, every game has been massive for us and that will continue to be the caser until the end of the season.”

As the debate around plastic pitches in the top-flight rolls on, Bain had plenty to say about artificial surfaces, with Scotland set to play on one in Kazakhstan.

And he claims football becomes a totally different ball game
when it’s played on the artificial turf – especially for the man between the sticks.

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Bain said: “It causes the same issues for goalkeepers as it does for outfield players.

“It’s different under foot. The way your studs interact with it is
different from grass. The way you land on it is different.

“The ball rolls and bounces differently. Instead of bouncing through to goal it will check and bounce up. It’s more a case of being safe rather than trying to come out and trying to affect the game.

“Football is a completely different sport on artificial surfaces.”