CELTIC Big Shot John ‘Yogi’ Hughes has told his old club to go into the new season with all guns blazing.
The legendary scorer, seventh in the club’s all-time charts with 189 goals, was shocked to see his old club to go out with a whimper last season after a summer that promised so much.
In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, Hughes, now 78, told author Alex Gordon: “We are always asked not to look back in anger, but it’s not easy when you reflect on what happened last term.
“What a colossal let down. Who could have forecast the complete collapse of the club? It seemed an utter impossibility for fortunes to dip so alarmingly.
‘Celtic went from the pinnacle to the pits at breathtaking, painful pace. As for the quest for the historic tenth successive title, what can you say? It went according to plan for 90 minutes.
“Neil Lennon watched his team beat Hamilton Accies 5-1 on August 2 and Odsonne Edouard, scorer of 28 goals in the previous campaign, tucked away a hat-trick as the sun shone in the east end of Glasgow. It was all downhill after that.
“Celtic dropped two points at Rugby Park in a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock, a club who were relegated at the league’s conclusion. We had the barmy Boli Bolingoli situation, the cancellation of two games against St Mirren and Aberdeen and we were playing catch-up for the remainder of the season.
“If it could go wrong, it did. It wasn’t easy on the eye watching the team stumble from one bad result to another.
“There can be little doubt they lost their direction. The fire in the bellies that should be second nature to a Celtic player was missing, there can be no argument.”
Hughes added: “There can be no repeat this time around. This is a whole new ball game. There have been massive changes on and off the field.
“New manager, new captain, new chief executive, new players. It will take time to gel, but it can be done on the hoof. Celtic have done it in the past.
“There was a huge turnaround when Wim Jansen took over from Tommy Burns in 1997. Henrik Larsson arrived, of course, but there were others such as Craig Burley, Paul Lambert, Darren Jackson, Regi Blinker, Jonathan Gould, Marc Reiper and Stephane Mahe.
“Wim, with the help of my old mate Davie Hay and his assistant Murdo MacLeod, got the jigsaw in place in time to win the club’s first title in 10 long years.
“History has shown it can be done, so let’s learn from the past.
“Let’s face it, folks, no-one wants to be looking back in anger this time next year.”
* TOMORROW: Don’t miss another Big Yogi Special – only in your champion CQN.