Continuing our regular Monday look back at how former Celts down in England got on at the weekend…
NEIL LENNON takes his struggling Bolton team into action tonight against Brentford tonight knowing that even a win will not get them off the foot of the Championship table.
The Wanderers are currently on 11 points, four adrift of nearest team Rotherham.
Former Celts were to the fore in England at the weekend and here is how several of them fared.
JACKIE McNAMARA admitted he “expected better” after losing his sixth consecutive game as York City boss.
The former Hoops skipper watched his new team flop 5-1 at home to Accrington Stanley to set an unwanted record. The League 2 side have now lost eight successive matches and equalled their previous worst run.
McNamara said: “I am disappointed with a lot of things defensively. I think offensively we started the game well and we looked a threat.
“But I thought we looked like a team that had met each other just yesterday. That was the case with the defence.
“We did think it would be a big ask with three new defenders in the back four, but I still expected better.
“There are signs we’ll be a good threat going forward if we can sort the defence out.”
PAUL LAMBERT claimed Sheffield Wednesday were lucky to get a point in the 2-2 draw at Blackburn.
The new Ewood Park boss was only six minutes away from a debut home triumph when Lucas Joao levelled for the visitors.
Lambert said: “When you draw a game like that, the dressing room becomes a bit low. That can be a bit false because the effort and work-rate were excellent.
“The goals they scored were fortuitous, but the second one was a blow because I thought we would see it through.
“However, I said to the lads don’t be too dejected. I thought we were well worthy of getting something.
“Ideally, I’d love to have the three points, but it’s a game we could have lost. Overall, four points out of six since I’ve been here is a good return.”
DAVID MARSHALL and TONY WATT took centre stage in Cardiff City’s 2-2 draw with Burnley.
Ex-Celtic keeper Marshall is rated the best in the Championship by his boss Russell Slade, but looked at fault at the Turf Moor side’s first goal.
And striker Watt, on loan from Charlton, played for just over an hour on his debut for the Welsh outfit who threw away a two-goal lead.
The frontman almost had a dream first appearance for the Bluebirds with a strong run and shot in the 20th minute, but his effort swerved just wide of the post.
Slade said: It is really, really hard to take. We were the better side for long periods and the better side didn’t win.
“We should have defended the first goal better and David Marshall is disappointed he didn’t save that.
“But the second goal was just bizarre. It was going a mile wide but then it came off Matthew Connolly and rolled right into the net. It was crazy.
“You could see how much it hurt the players who had worked so hard to get the better of a very good team.”
PETER GRANT, the Fulham caretaker boss, praised Ross McCormack after the 1-1 draw with Preston at Craven Cottage.
The Scottish international striker gave the Londoners a point with his 12th goal of the season when he curled in a 20-yard free-kick 13 minutes from time.
Ex-Celtic midfielder Grant, in temporary charge following the sacking of Kit Symon, said: “Ross McCormack is one of the top goalscorers in the league.
“We have players who can produce a moment of magic, so it’s no surprise to see Ross score like that.
“It was difficult for us in the first-half and, even though Preston were always a danger, I thought there was only going to be one winner – ourselves.”
BERAM KAYAL is leading ambitious Brighton’s charge back to the Premier League. The Israeli international midfielder was influential again in Chris Hughton’s side’s 2-1 win over Birmingham City.
Kayal spent four-and-a-half years at Parkhead and made almost 150 appearances after being signed by ex-boss Neil Lennon from Maccabi Hafia in 2010.
He made only six SPFL starts under Ronny Deila, but has become a mainstay at the Championship outfit after joining them during the January transfer window for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old has no hard feelings after leaving the Hoops, despite Deila’s insistence he wasn’t fit enough for the first team.
He said: “I was at the point of my career when I needed to be playing games and that wasn’t going to happen at Celtic.
“So, I asked to leave the club and that’s what happened.”
Kayal was the key man again as veteran striker Bobby Zamora, who will be 35 in January, claimed the winner against Birmingham.
DARYL MURPHY is repaying Ipswich boss MICK McCARTHY for keeping faith in him.
The Republic of Ireland star netted twice in the Portman Road side’s 3-0 win at Charlton – bringing his total to six in three matches.
However, Murphy, who claimed only three goals in three years at the Hoops, went on a 13-game barren run at the start of the season.
McCarthy said: “Daryl came back late from pre-season training and then had to get used to playing alongside different people such as Brett Pitman and Freddie Sears.
“Brett has taken a bit of weight off him and that has helped. Obviously, Daryl has benefited from our belief in him and our consistency in keeping with him.”
TONY MOWBRAY refused to blame former Scotland Under-21 star John Fleck after his blunder cost Coventry City a win against Doncaster Rovers.
The Sky Blues were leading 2-1 when the midfielder gave away the ball in his own penalty area which led to Nathan Tyson’s 72nd-minute leveller.
However, ex-Celtic boss Mowbray defended his player and said: “It’s unusual for John to have such a loss of concentration because technically he’s very gifted.
“He could have done anything with the ball – he wasn’t under any pressure – but he tried to flip it around the corner which is something he does week-in week-out for us.
“It doesn’t happen very often and it won’t happen very often again. He’s a top quality player and I’m not going to apportion any blame to him.”
Fleck, in fact, put the home side ahead in the 59th minute to nullify Tyson’s earlier equaliser of Adam Armstrong’s opener.
Mowbray added: “We didn’t lose, but the nature of the goals we conceded was disappointing because they didn’t have to work for them.
“There was plenty of good play and we had lots of opportunities to put the game to bed, but we did not take them.”
Elsewhere in League 1, former Hoops skipper GARY CALDWELL saw his Wigan side held to a goalless draw at Southend.
He said: “We had an effort cleared off the line and hit the bar, so it was disappointing not to win.”