IT was no surprise to see some teething problems for boss Ange Postecoglou at the start of the season, but form through November and early December has shown how far this side have come.
A 1-0 victory over Motherwell at Parkhead was their fifth straight win in the league for the Bhoys, who have been showing their nerve of late in the race for the Premiership title.
Leverkusen Defeat a Turning Point
A disappointing 4-0 defeat on home soil at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League appears to have been a turning point for the Hoops. It was a big step up in level for many players, including centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers who was on loan with Bournemouth in the English second tier last season. The Cherries are one of the favourites for the title in the EFL Championship betting with Betfair after missing out on promotion last season.
Carter-Vickers’ former team will have plenty of backers to win games in the Championship score predictions, and his time at Dean Court will have given him some much-needed experience before his move to Celtic. Now a regular in the heart of the Hoops defence, the Tottenham loan star has shown how far he has come since that night against Leverkusen.
Carter-Vickers is not the only one, as the entire Celtic squad has seemed to have gone up a level while having to challenge on multiple fronts. Postecoglou has said on multiple occasions the strain his squad are under with the schedule over the festive period. Celtic play no less than nine games through December, and the club’s strength in depth will be tested to its very limit in such an important month of the season.
Bhoys Showing Character
What has been impressive to see is the way Postecoglou’s side have been able to grind out results in games when the goals have not been forthcoming. The Hoops earned 1-0 wins on home soil over St Johnstone, Hearts and Motherwell over November and December.
Earlier in the season, those might have been games where Postecoglou’s men dropped points but they are becoming matches that Celtic are grinding out wins. Five goals in as many home games between the Livingston goalless draw and the Motherwell win is hardly the freescoring football home supporters have come to expect for their side in the Premiership.
However, it shows a resilient mentality to grind out wins when perhaps performances have not been at their peak.
The results also show how much improvement there has been in Celtic’s defence and players like Carter-Vickers can take great credit for the progress shown. Three clean sheets in a row against Hearts, Dundee United and Motherwell is the perfect example of that development at the back and will be more than welcomed by boss Postecoglou.
With the teething problems seemingly behind them, Celtic look to be building momentum that can take them to exciting places come the business end of the season.