05 Jan Lewis Morgan confident of making Celtic impact
Lewis Morgan’s self-belief was unscathed when he was released by Rangers at the age of 16 so he does not lack the confidence to make an impact at Celtic.
The Scotland Under-21 international has completed his move to the Ladbrokes Premiership champions but will finish the season with St Mirren on loan.
Morgan joined the Paisley side two months after being shown the door at Murray Park and is still using his Rangers rejection as motivation to succeed.
The 21-year-old said: “For the last couple of years I was there, I wasn’t anywhere near even my own age group. So it was coming to be honest and the last two years really weren’t enjoyable. The head of youth at the time didn’t take a fancy to me.
“But that’s all behind me now and I am happy to be joining a club that plays Champions League every year and is the dominant club in Scotland.
“By the time it came to pre-season I was in at St Mirren, so there wasn’t really a period where I was out of football completely. But there was a period I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
“I was confident I would get something. Not knowing where you’re going to be can be hard but once I got involved at St Mirren it has all been great for me.
“Drawing on negative experiences and trying to make it positive, and obviously it motivates me to try and prove people wrong, and that’s what I have been doing throughout my career.
“St Mirren took a chance on me and I owe them a lot. Ever since then, it’s been a big rise for me.”
The two-footed winger, who has scored 13 goals this season, feels his Paisley experiences have boosted his confidence.
“The young boys there have quite a lot of character-building stuff to try and build bigger personalities,” he said.
“The younger boys are grounded there. It’s quite old school. As a young boy you are singing in front of the first team all the time.
“Davie Longwell, who is now coaching at New York Red Bulls, was really big on trying to promote big personalities in the changing room. It has obviously been a success, they have produced quite a lot of young players.
“As a winger, you do need to be really confident. Every time I get the ball I want to be really direct and try and contribute something. I’m a player that tries to get the fans off their seats and my confidence is probably one of my biggest assets.”
Morgan is Brendan Rodgers’ first Scottish signing but the Celtic boss has given the likes of Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor the platform to excel and Morgan is confident he will seize his chance.
“They went unbeaten last season and what they have achieved has been incredible, so I know there is going to be a fight on my hands to get in the team but I’m certainly up to it,” he said.
“I have played over 100 games. It will be a bit of a change at first but it’s a battle that I relish.
“I’ve come through it before when I was a young player trying to break into a team so I know what it’s all about and I’m sure it will bring out the best in me.”