Liam Scales could never have predicted his rise from staring down the barrel of a possible Celtic exit to becoming a man of the match performer in the Champions League.

The Irish defender, 25, was widely expected to leave Parkhead in the summer but has defied expectations to become a regular player under Brendan Rodgers - and has flourished on the big stage this term.

Scales mightn't have foreseen a prolonged stay at Celtic a short few months ago as he considered his future but he's insisted he hasn't had a career turnaround, rather a case of taking his chance.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a turnaround, I don’t think I was going in the wrong direction in the first place," said Scales. "But it has kicked on now. I always felt if I got a chance to play consistently here I could do well. It was just about getting that chance. With the quality of the squad, it was going to be difficult. I am just delighted I have. For it to go the way it has since I have got in has been brilliant.

“As a footballer, you have to treat every day the same and go in and train as well as you can. I just need to keep playing the way I have been playing and stay hungry. We want to win games, we want to win trophies here. I haven’t achieved much here. 

"In the first season I was here we obviously won the League Cup and the Premiership, but I didn’t feature that much. Going out on loan last season, I missed out on a successful season. I want to have that for myself.”

On whether he could have dreamt of being named man of the match for Celtic in the Champions League this season, Scales added: “No, not really to be honest. It was tough to see past the transfer window to be honest. 

"I didn’t know where I was going to be and what I was going to be doing. I was looking at what my immediate move was going to be and if there was going to be a move. 

"I am delighted with how it has worked out. I got a bit of luck with injuries. But it has been brilliant. I couldn’t have foreseen this.

"Over the six games we’ve had tough stages - we have played with nine men and 10 men in games. I have had to sort of dig in and learn how to cope at this level. I feel like today was the peak of it for me. I am just glad I could help the team to get the win, but it is a nice personal achievement to get that in the locker.

“It was the peak of my campaign tonight getting the win, but I wouldn’t say it’s my peak in general. Look, I just need to not get complacent, keep on doing what I have been doing. We had a bad result at the weekend and this is a good way to bounce back. Now we can bring confidence into the rest of the games. But for me personally I just need to stay hungry. It is a cliché I suppose, but I just need to make sure I don’t get complacent and keep playing as many games as I can.”

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While Scales' rise this season has been meteoric, it took Celtic until their final Champions League group stage outing to claim their first victory in the competition. An unwanted record had stretched 15 matches since the last win in the competition and ten years since a Champions League win at Parkhead.

For Scales, it was a result to fill the squad with confidence ahead of a plotted return to the competition - courtesy of a hoped-for Scottish Premiership triumph - next season.

“It was brilliant," said Scales of the win over Feyenoord. "We were good in spells in the campaign, but not good enough to win games. To get that today is brilliant. I think we deserved it. We were really good in the first half, we took the game to them and when we had to defend in the second half we did. 

"To concede a late goal and to then come back and score in the last few minutes was brilliant and showed great character. We are all delighted. 

"On paper it didn’t mean much, but to us it meant a lot. We were desperate to get a win in this campaign and it’s great that we did.

“Welshy [Stephen Welsh] came in and he was brilliant for 75 minutes. He obviously hasn’t played much football, he is just back from an injury. To get through 75 minutes at that intensity was a big achievement for him. He was top class. 

"Then Gus [Gustaf Lagerbielke] comes on and gets the winner. He has had to be patient to get minutes so I am delighted that he came on and got the winner. I don’t think anyone could have deserved it more.”

Asked if the result builds confidence should Celtic return to the competition next season, Scales said: “Definitely. Obviously we have to go and win the league. That is massive. 

"We want to be part of the Champions League every year, but we have to go and win the league to get there. Hopefully we do. If we do, we will definitely take confidence from this win. It is just great to win a game, at home especially. 

"I feel like our home performances were all quite good. Away let us down. We need to learn from that and I am sure we will.”