Juarez can't wait to get stuck in

21 July 2010 07:03
Mexican Efrain Juarez wants to get involved straight away. Mexico midfielder Efrain Juarez believes joining Celtic was the best decision he could have made and says manager Neil Lennon made a big impression on him during his brief time with the club in the United States. Juarez, who can play as a central defender, full-back or defensive midfielder, signed a four-year deal with the Hoops on Saturday and linked up with his new side in America to watch the team's friendly against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. The 22-year-old, who played in central midfield at the World Cup, is back in Mexico and awaiting a work permit, but claims his brief time with the squad in the USA has left him excited about the move to Glasgow. He said: "They wanted me to play, but I couldn't because of the situation of the transfer. I'm so happy and excited because I had my first contact with the team, with the coaching staff, and they are as excited as I am. I was with them for practically the whole day. I went to the friendly match and watched from the bench. This (joining Celtic) is the best decision I could have taken because the team has given me all the confidence and my aim is to help keep the club up there in the position it belongs. The coach, Neil Lennon, is a great guy - a great person who welcomed me from the first moment, spoke to me and made me aware of what he wants from me. I am very grateful because they have welcomed me with open arms. As soon as I get the work permit, I will join up with the team in Scotland. I hope to travel on Wednesday or Thursday."Juarez could get his chance to wear a Celtic strip on Saturday against Lincoln, when Lennon will supplement a young squad with several first-team members. Fellow newcomers Daryl Murphy and Cha Du-Ri are also set to feature against a side managed by former Celtic striker Chris Sutton, while Aiden McGeady hopes to return from the thigh injury that kept him out of the North American tour. The match will offer Lennon the opportunity to bed players in before the first leg of the crucial Champions League third-round qualifier against Sporting Braga. Lennon said: "First of all, it will be great to come up against Chris again, who I know is looking forward to the occasion as well. And it will be a good test for us as we continue to build up to the match with Braga. It will also be really valuable as I will be able to give guys like Aiden and Daryl, who did not play in North America, some playing time. And, if possible, I am hoping to give Efrain a game just to get him on the pitch and get a bit more familiar with it all."