JOHN HARTSON insists the January Sales will be crucial for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.
The Hoops goal hero has told the critics to lay off the Greek-Australian gaffer who has taken stick with the team already six points off the pace in the Premiership following only three wins from seven games.
Hartson watched his old team drop their ELEVENTH point of the season in the fairly soulless display in the 1-1 stalemate against Dundee United at Parkhead on Sunday – a game in which David Turnbull, Tom Rogic and Filipe Jota all struck the bar after Liel Abada had headed in his sixth goal of the campaign.
The best chance, though, fell to Albian Ajeti only moments after Ian Harkes had equalised for the Tannadice outfit. Incredibly, the Swiss striker blazed over the crossbar from almost under the crossbar when it looked impossible to miss the target.
The Welsh legend made the very valid point there isn’t much any manager can do if his front players are so wasteful when excellent opportunities are presented to them.
Hartson said: “When you pay £5million for Ajeti and he misses from three yards, what do you do about that?
LOOKING UP…Albian Ajeti looks heavenwards after his dreadful miss against Dundee United.
LOOKING DOWN…Albian Ajeti is flat out after failing to connect with a right-wing cross from Liel Abada.
“Ange didn’t bring him in and he’s the only fit striker. What do you do and what do you say?
“What does Ange do when a centre-forward misses from three yards? Do you sack the manager? Do you start again? I think he needs another window.
“For me, Ange has to get more time. It’s early in the season, we’ve not won away from home yet. He’ll know that and the biggest pressure is what he will be putting on himself.
“He’s an honest, straight-talking guy and he will know the results away from home have not been there and not been good enough.”
Hartson, speaking to Go Radio, added: “Celtic won’t make a change in terms of a managerial role, because if you make a change at this stage, the new manager would have the same problems.
“They would want to bring in their own players and we know the big problems are in defence. We look all over the shop at times.
“The players are not performing to the level that they can do. You look at the bench and Adam Montgomery is just a young lad who has come into the group, but he’s expected to come on and win games.
“With everything in the mix at the start of the season. Getting Ange in, everything that was changing, if Celtic were to win the league this year it would be an unbelievable achievement.”
Amazingly, Ajeti has yet to get into double figures since Neil Lennon brought him in from West Ham last summer.
He claimed six in his first campaign and has collected three this time around.
Ajeti has failed to convince the Hoops faithful that he can be relied upon to deliver the goods, but, with Kyogo Furuhashi injured, he is the only experienced attack-leader available to Postecoglou.