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Celtic growing into their skin, more on Maribor

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You could see Celtic mature during last night’s game.  They were defensively solid during the first half, and Craig Gordon was assured throughout, but for the best part of an hour we scarcely tested St Johnstone.

That changed after the goal, which arrived just as St Johnstone were enjoying their best period of the game.  Kris Commons didn’t have his most productive night but it was his pressing which led to the break through.

During the second half Ronny Deila replaced Commons, Stokes and the tiring Forrest with Boerrigter, Inge Berget and Kayal.  Even before the home team were reduced to 10 men moments after the final substitution, Celtic were clearly in a more comfortable shape.  Players were finding space which didn’t exist earlier.

Maribor made seven changes for last night’s Slovenian Super Cup Final, which they won comfortably against opponents who are pointless in the league after four games.  Celtic’s scouts are unlikely to have learned too much useful information ahead of next weeks’ game.

What is clear about Maribor is their aerial threat.  Five of their 12 goals this season have been headers, which may influence Ronny’s team selection.  They also break quickly down the flanks, so maybe a 4-5-1, offering protection to our full backs, is the way to go.  Hopefully we’ve learned we’re not quite ready for 4-3-3 away from home in Europe.

The Slovenian media are dismissive of Celtic’s chances, encouraged, it seems, but continuing celebrations from Maribor that they pulled an “easy” draw.  I suspect they’ve yet to see the Celtic who will take the field on Wednesday.

Fancy winning a pair of tickets in the padded seats of the Jock Stein Stand for flag day on Saturday – and helping Mary’s Meals?  Magners have kindly offered a pair of tickets, which you can win, if you donate £1 to Mary’s Meals.  You can, of course, give as much you like, but £1 is the minimum donation.
You also need to answer the question: Which team will Celtic play this Saturday, shortly after the League Flag flies?  To enter, forward your MyDonate confirmation email to celticquicknews@gmail.com, with your answer.  Competition closes at noon tomorrow (Friday), winner will be notified by email, so check you inbox.

It’ll cost you £1, you could win premium seats to the premium event, enter here.  Cheers to Magners.

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  1. Anderson…………………….

     

     

    Wicket…………………………..

     

     

    India 3 for 1…………………

     

     

    Notlookinggood

  2. ulysses mcghee - a demographic of one on

    Dead rivalries aside – can you imagine if/when we draw Legia again?

     

     

    Badda Boom Badda Bing Badda Boom Bang Bing!!!!!!!!!

     

     

    Give it a name!

     

     

    U

  3. This has to be read to be believed, and this guys team is playing thems on Monday, I’d have his jotters in an envelope as we speak, talk about one bitter Hun .

     

     

     

    BARRY reckons McCoist is being subjected to unfair amount of flak after Gers’ opening day defeat to Hearts.

     

     

    45 Shares

     

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    Getty ImagesBarry celebrates a title win in 2009 with Ally McCoist and Lee McCulloch

     

    WELCOME to the dark side.

     

     

    I’ve known Ally McCoist almost all my life and had countless conversations with the man over the years. But those five words are the ones I’ll remember above all others.

     

     

    It was his message to me on the day I took over the manager’s job at Blackpool at the start of this year and I was so excited I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. Dark side? What dark side? What are you on about man? I’m a manager now.

     

     

    A couple of weeks later I was sitting in my office after a second straight defeat. I remember looking around wondering where my backroom team had disappeared to. Bob Malcolm was nowhere to be seen. Eric Black too.

     

     

    I was sitting all on my own and suddenly realised exactly what Coisty had been talking about. The dark side – it’s not an enjoyable place to be.

     

     

    It’s a feeling of absolute loneliness and one that maybe only other managers really experience.

     

     

    All you want to do is scream the walls down in your empty office but you know you’d be carted off by men in white coats if you did.

     

     

    So you button it up, take a deep breath and try to work out how to find a way out of it. That’s the life of a football manager and, yes, there are times when it feels as if there is no light at all.

     

     

    Action Images/Alan WalterBarry Ferguson in his time as Blackpool manager

     

    The last week has probably been a bit like that for Coisty at Rangers and it’s difficult for me not to feel sorry for him – even though I know I’m heading there with Clyde next week trying to make the situation even bleaker.

     

     

    That’s life, it’s professional football and Ally knows it can’t be any other way.

     

     

    I’ve known him since I was a schoolboy with stars in my eyes. I’d walk into the house and find him sitting there having a cup of tea with my big brother, Derek, and Ian Durrant.

     

     

    I’d either sprint back out the door to round up my mates or grab a ball and run out the back garden to show off my tricks. I wasn’t trying to impress Coisty – I was pretending to BE him.

     

     

    I went on to play with Coisty and Durranty in the reserves then the Rangers first team. I played against them at Kilmarnock and we became Scotland team-mates too.

     

     

    Then, as time went on, they became my coaches. And on Monday night I’ll be standing 10 yards away from them in the away dugout at Ibrox.

     

     

    Do you think I haven’t thought about that? We’re talking about my childhood heroes. Of course it’s going to be strange.

     

     

    But although I know he’ll be hurting right now, I’m also sure he can handle the strain. When you’re part of a club like Rangers, pressure comes with the job.

     

     

    No one knows that better than Coisty and Durranty because they’re in with the bricks and mortar.

     

     

    But even though they know the demands and expectations, they might be a bit surprised by the amount of flak that’s been flying around these last few days. I know I am. Yes, Rangers lost against Hearts on Sunday but it’s not the end of the world.

     

     

    It was the first game of a long season and, for me, Rangers will be crowned champions at the end of it because they have the best squad and the best players in the division.

     

     

    The reaction to the Hearts defeat has been way over the top. You can’t pick up a Record without someone sticking the boot in. But I believe the last few days will help clear a few minds and get things into focus.

     

     

    Sometimes it takes a kick in the guts to bring the best out of people. I’m a great believer that you grow as a player and as a person if you’re strong enough to come through difficult moments. And I’ve had more than my share.

     

     

    There’s an old Bill Struth saying that springs to my mind: “Son, you’re a good player but can you play for the Rangers?” That’s the question being asked of some of the guys in that dressing room right now.

     

     

    Coisty and Durranty know the script. So do Lee McCulloch, Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd. They’ve all been over the course before.

     

     

    But there will be some others in there who will be asking themselves some searching questions and I know that because I used to do the same myself when I first broke into the Rangers team.

     

     

    I was a young kid being given my chance to show that I belonged at the top level. Did I feel pressure? You better believe I did. But I absolutely thrived on it.

     

     

    I knew all eyes were on me because there were so many quality players who could have been in that team ahead of this skinny wee 19-year-old with the screwed-up face. If I had a bad game, I’d go home and worry about it because I was battling to establish myself.

     

     

    I knew I’d need to put it right as quickly as possible.

     

     

    The pressure comes with the shirt and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

     

     

    That’s the difference between a good player and a Rangers player. If you’re going to succeed at Ibrox, you have to embrace the pressure.

     

     

    You have to realise it will bring the best out of you when you need it most.

     

     

    You have to feed on it because if you shy away from it, it will be waiting for you on the park, weighing down on your shoulders. There is no escape.

     

     

    A few players in there aren’t used to that sort of intensity. They’ve sailed through the last two seasons without really being tested but now they have to step it up and prove they belong, just the way I had to as a kid. So please, leave me out of this talk about a crisis at Ibrox just because of one result.

     

     

    I fully expect Coisty to get a reaction from these players against Falkirk tonight and a result that will shut a few of their critics up.

     

     

    Then they can look forward to Monday night when I bring Clyde to Ibrox for a cup-tie, knowing full well they will be massive favourites to go through to the next round. And quite right too, as I’ll have boys going into that game on the back of a 12-hour shift. So we’re not going there under any illusions.

     

     

    Don’t get me wrong, I want my boys to show they can play at a higher level and I truly believe in them.

     

     

    But this is Rangers we’re up against and my old club is hurting right now. That’s when they are always at their most dangerous – guys like McCoist and Durrant have always made sure of that.

  4. Tony Pulis leaves Crystal Palace on the eve of the first league game of the season.

     

     

    The man worked a minor miracle last year. Bizarre unless he has something else to go to.

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    The Singing Detective Demands The Resignation Of Campbell Ogilvie

     

    11:22 on

     

    15 August, 2014

     

     

    Obscure references,some of them oo`er ma heid.

     

    The price of eggs,old chap.

     

    What`s it got to do with same?

     

    To wit,what`s your take on the state of the Timmy nation.ie the Club,no the punters.

  6. • Joe Filippis Haircut

     

    11:30 on 15 August, 2014

     

    Anyone think Lennie is in with a shout for the Crystal Palace job ? H.H.

     

     

     

    Not sure……………………………..

     

     

    Neil didn’t do himself any favours leaving Celtic.

     

     

    Potential chairmen might have question marks about that.

     

     

    NotsayingIagree,justsaying

  7. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    DELANEYS DUNKY

     

     

    You watch yerself the day,bud.

     

     

    Yer drinking wi a pro,remember.

     

     

    I need you fighting fit in Cheltenham next month,not a gibbering basket-case. That we can save for then!

     

     

    Btw-Irish Oak still shut!!!!

  8. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Jungle Jim, from yesterday. I’ll also be wearing a flat cap tomorrow, and so will young ACGR.

     

     

    Thanks for the reminder.

     

     

     

    Hail Hail the bunnet

  9. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Big Joe

     

     

    Thing I love about the cricket is that the commentators/presenters invariably have played the game at the highest level, and know what theyre talking about

     

     

    Unlike rob mclean, chick young and derek feckin johnstone

     

     

    to name but a few

     

     

    HH

  10. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    TONY DONNELLY

     

     

    Nae wunner Blackpool went doon the tubes.

     

     

    Imagine having Eric Black available as manager and giving the job to Ferguson.

     

     

    Ffs….

  11. KevJungle is a Celtic fan…not a supporter.

     

     

    I think you may have over estimated your importance in the great scheme of things KJ…

     

     

    As far as I gather you are not the spokesman for a groundswell of Celtic SUPPORTERS who want to do as you say but not as you do..

     

     

    Rubber Rooms keep on bouncing that’s what they do!

     

     

    Mind the cat flap own the way oot…

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Rumour Southampton about to put a bid in for Virgil maybe that is why we have brought on loan the young lad from Man.City.Celtic become Southampton feeder club. H.H.

  13. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    21may

     

     

    Rugby is similar …most commentators are rugby internationalists of the highest standard

  14. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    £12m for Long …FFS …moderate scoring record at best …not even as good as Gary Hooper IMO

  15. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    DELANEY’S DUNKY,

     

    Yer getting kinda fond of the old swallee chap :-)

     

    Where is today taking ye?

     

    Friday afternoon, God’s good to ye..

  16. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    PFayr

     

     

    Exactly, and over the piece you get a well constructed fair analysis. That wee guy McLean in particular cant disguise his hurt when they lose/ we win, and what credentials does he have ? Apart from the obvious one

  17. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    TD, the wee feghun will lie down with his arse in the air and take one for his old pal and bestest, youngest, cheekiest chappiest manager on the planet and the known universe.

     

     

    That’s a given

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Tim tanium

     

     

    His stock is high …maybe he doesnt fancy that he can work the same miracle this season

     

     

    I’d imagine he got a stonking bonus for keeping them up

  19. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    tonydonnelly67

     

    11:38 on

     

    15 August, 2014

     

     

    You`re right,T.D.

     

    What shines through is that he wouldn`t mind too much losing to Rangers.

     

    It would help some old chums through a difficult spell.

     

    It`s their culture. Tims aren`t included.

     

    Thank god.

  20. Has U.E.F.A. told us who scored our three goals? It is important to know because:

     

     

    1. Would be a great confidence boost to the likes of Pukki.

     

    2. It could make Balde worth more and more attractive to possible suitors.

     

    3. Might impact on our Player of the Year award come the end of the season.

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    A Ceiler Gonof Rust. Ur ye gonnae no dae that whit a picture tae pit in ma mind yeughhhh.H.H. :- )

  22. Coolmore Mafia on

    LiviBhoy

     

    10:11 on

     

    15 August, 2014

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-28789456

     

     

    One of the saddest stories in the media this week.

     

     

    I hope these are recovered and placed back where they belong ASAP.

     

    It puts into perspective what a few clowns say about a Celtic player going down a bit easy and a Legia player playing for 4 mins who was banned.

     

    These buildings should be sacred and untouched. Very annoyed at this item of news.

     

     

    LB

     

     

    ———

     

     

    Maybe we have some artisans within our support who could make replacements?

     

    I must say, a very beautiful chapel, built by Italian POWs. All the more pleasing as I’m not a fan of the look of Italian chapels that I’ve been in across in Turin and Milan.

  23. TD67,

     

     

    I hope wee fergy saves sleekit from the sack, putting his own jaikit on a shoogly peg, after Falkirk pump them tonight. :)

  24. • twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine

     

    11:47 on 15 August, 2014

     

    Big Joe

     

    Thing I love about the cricket is that the commentators/presenters invariably have played the game at the highest level, and know what theyre talking about

     

    Unlike rob mclean, chick young and derek feckin johnstone

     

    to name but a few

     

    HH

     

     

    Good point…………………………………………..

     

     

    Most sports in most countries are the same……………….

     

     

    The tour de France also has great commentators.

     

     

    Pity Scotland has so many dumplings

     

     

    Wicketttttttttttttttttttttttttt.

     

     

    10for2…………………….

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    scullybhoy. Where have you been hiding ? we all know it was Declan Sanchez. H.H. :-)

  26. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Geordie Munro

     

    11:56 on

     

    15 August, 2014

     

    ….Pfayr & 21st

     

     

    Bang on. Bill mcclaren being an exception. But he was a legend.

     

    =================================================================

     

     

    Biggest compliment from an English mate of mine about Bill McLaren.

     

    “You wouldn`t know he was a Scotsman.”

  27. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Geordie

     

     

    Absolutely. Football however has so many clowns giving us non stop statistics, read from a book, and none of them has kicked a ball in earnest. Always remember Clough ripping motson apart, hillarious

     

     

    HH

  28. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    21may

     

     

    Scotland is the most stilted media backwater …..they still venerate a club that was liquidated two years ago

     

     

    Their championing of Legia Warsaws cause is embarrassing and show them for what they are

     

     

    McLean is a torn faced Hun…McCann is worse ..turncoat bandit …

     

     

    Michael Stewart tore into Sevco’s performance on Sunday and Sally’s tactics…he better watch himself he’ll not last with such candour

  29. scullybhoy

     

     

    Where have you been hiding? Did you not know that the legendary Declan Sanchez has been credited with all 3 goals?

     

     

    HH

     

     

    End Lomdon rule. YES

  30. • Joe Filippis Haircut

     

    11:51 on 15 August, 2014

     

    Rumour Southampton about to put a bid in for Virgil maybe that is why we have brought on loan the young lad from Man.City.Celtic become Southampton feeder club. H.H.

     

    Could be why we are playing Lustig as canter ½

     

     

    Lusting&Efi