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Cameron Carter-Vickers knows it will take time to form a new central defensive partnership but is encouraged by the early signs of working with Maik Nawrocki.

The pair started in the heart of Celtic’s back four as the champions opened their cinch Premiership season with a 4-2 win over Ross County last weekend.

Carl Starfelt came off the bench for a farewell appearance before completing his move to Celta Vigo in midweek after two years alongside Carter-Vickers.

The United States international said: “It’s always sad when you lose a team-mate, especially one you played so closely with, but for him it was the right decision to move and we wish him nothing but the best.

“All defensive partnerships take a bit of time, it’s the nature of the position. For me now it’s just about focusing on trying to build connections with new team-mates and new players and trying to make those connections as strong as possible.”

Maik Nawrocki
Maik Nawrocki in action during pre-season (PA)

Nawrocki joined Celtic this summer from Legia Warsaw having played against manager Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester team in Europe, and Carter-Vickers feels he will be a valuable team-mate.

“He is a really good player, you can see in training the qualities that he has,” the former Tottenham defender said.

“He is a very, very good player. He is very good on the ball, a very good progressive passer. He reads the game really well and he knows when to step in at times and try and be aggressive and intercept the ball.

“It just needs time, building connections, me knowing what he is going to do, and him knowing what I am going to do.

“Training is key, speaking to each other out on the training pitch and letting each other know where we want each other to be, and also games as well. There is nothing like a game to see his natural tendencies and him learning mine, and from there you can feed off each other.”

The pair are set to get the chance to continue that process when Celtic face Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday.

Carter-Vickers said: “Aberdeen had a great finish to last season and they are in a strong position at the moment so we know it will be a tough game but we just focus on our performance and go up there and try to win.”