Cameron Carter-Vickers insists Ange Postecoglou’s advice can take him all the way to Qatar via Europe’s footballing hotspots.
The American is now on his way to El Salvador for the international final of the summer program in the early hours of Wednesday morning in our time.
Carter-Vickers travels to the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador with his club’s future assured after confirmation on Friday of a permanent £6million transfer to Celtic.
The 24-year-old is desperate to be part of his country’s World Cup push at the end of the year and believes Postecoglou’s leadership and conviction can make it happen.
Carter-Vickers was a nomad before arriving in Glasgow. Six spells on loan from Spurs gave him no sense of security.
But Postecoglou changed all that. The Australian’s move in the final hour of last summer’s transfer window gave the centre-back his chance to settle.
CCV did enough to win two trophies, earn massive accolades and restore him to the American setup.
The defender could feel the heat from the stands as he played superbly for Parkhead’s new side during his charge for the Premiership and Premier Sports Cup and, more importantly, in charge of Postecoglou.
He is now on the second leg of the journey with immediate rewards and riches within his reach.
Carter-Vickers heads to the biggest stage in club football when he joins his teammates in the Champions League group stage.
Performing well among Europe’s top flight will go a long way to sealing his place in the World Cup and the stopper is adamant he has the right person to get him there.
Carter-Vickers said: “It’s hopeful when you know the manager trusts you and he believes in you. Me and the rest of the players believe in him too.
“We believe he will pick us up and lead us down the right path. It was important last year and will be again this season.
“As a team, we want to build on what we did last season. Obviously it was great to win the league last season and it’s something we want to do again next year.
“And we want to test ourselves in Europe, in the Champions League, we’ll be playing against big teams and big players, so to see how we perform will be great.”
Carter-Vickers, of course, got a taste of the continent last season when he featured in the Europa League.
Even before leaving Spurs, he had taken part in a qualification and then moved on to the groups with Celtic.
It was a steep learning curve, with the Postecoglou side losing more goals than anyone else during this stage of the competition, but tough education was key to their development.
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Now it’s the biggest tournament of the lot and he said: “The Champions League will be great to play in, it’s the best competition in club football so to be involved in it will be great.
“And speaking of the World Cup, that’s something I try to do to be in the team and make sure I’m there with the United States.”
Carter-Vickers picked up his 10th cap for the United States over the weekend in a convincing 5-0 win over Grenada.
Manager Gregg Berhalter could mix up his pack again for the game against El Salvador as he looks to freshen up the squad.
That could leave Carter-Vickers a free ride during his vacation before hard work resumes at Celtic’s pre-season camp in Austria early next month.
The defender is eager to get things back on track at Parkhead after enjoying such a successful first term at the club.
Carter-Vickers played a pivotal role in the title win and his partnership with Carl Starfelt was the rock on which the flag triumph was built with Joe Hart providing added insurance behind their backs.
The former England keeper has already taken to social media to express his joy at his fellow United States’ permanent capture and Carter-Vickers said: “A few of the boys have messaged me, a few of they put things in the group chat.”
Carter-Vickers will soon be back among the group for the hard-hitting transplant but, if it’s like last trimester, it’ll be sweaty smiles.
The defender has also built up a great relationship with the fans during his time at the club so far and can’t expect the same.
Carter-Vickers told Celtic TV: “I really enjoyed last season. I enjoyed working with the manager and the group of players and because of that I knew I wanted to stay.
“Last season was not only great for me, but also for the team. In terms of all home games but also away games, the support we got was magnificent. That was part of it.”