Lukasz Zaluska determined to hang on to No.1 jersey despite costly mistake

A SELF-CONFESSED "first mistake in pre-season" will not diminish Lukasz Zaluska's "optimism" he can be Celtic's first-choice goalkeeer, the Pole claimed last night. Zaluska was at fault for Inter's second goal in the 2-0 defeat suffered by Neil Lennon's side in the Dublin Super Cup - just as his position appeared strengthened with the Celtic manager confirming he had ended his interest in trialist keeper Stipe Pletikosa.

Zaluska must live on his wits and hope against hope that the hunt for a keeper that Lennon said post-match "goes on" will not see him hunted down.

"It is not a comfortable situation for me but I have to be strong and I have to keep focused for myself," Zaluska said. "Listen, after last season when I hardly played (and Fraser Forster was No.1], what can I do? I am back. I played the first league game and got a clean sheet. I am still in the best position. I am 29. It is the best age for a goalkeeper and I will do everything I can to be the Celtic No.1 this season."

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Zaluska conceded he wasn't in the best position to deal with a through ball that Giampolo Pazzini reached before him to score with. "I was disappointed with that," he said. "I was waiting for a bounce and that is why the striker was quicker than me."

Lennon was circumspect about attempting to prise Forster from Newcastle, where has has returned after last year's season-long loan. "We have been rebuffed by Newcastle," said the Celtic manager of the rejection of a 1.5m offer for the hulking keeper. "And I don't want to be accused of unsettling a player. Because of that I'll keep my cards close to my chest."

Lennon drew succour from the number of chances his team created in an ill-tempered encounter, although he added that he "hated the fact we lost".

"Their movement caused us problems and our back four have got to get used to that," he added. "It was a wee bit edgy and in terms of the physical side of it I didn't mind that at all. Their keeper was excellent made three or four fantastic saves, and, in that aspect, I can't ask for more apart from putting the ball in the net. I think on the balance of play we deserved a goal."

Celtic will today face a League of Ireland select who yesterday lost 3-0 to Manchester City. "It will be interesting to see how their fitness levels are after their exertions today," Lennon said of this afternoon's opposition. "From what I saw of the game, they acquitted themselves very well. We'll obviously make a lot of chances from the team today but I don't know if they'll have that luxury."

Kris Commons, who missed out yesterday with a toe infection, may feature, but James Forrest is likely to be unavailable because of a virus. Ki Sung-Yeung did not travelled to Dublin because of a similar complaint.