STILIYAN PETROV has admitted he is NOT surprised by Celtic’s worst start to a league campaign in 23 years.
The Hoops slumped to their third consecutive away Premiership loss when they flopped 1-0 at Livingston on Sunday following previous defeats at Tynecastle and Ibrox.
Ange Postecoglou’s side are now in sixth place in the league, four points off the pace after a mere six matches into a campaign where they hoped their revamped lineup on ad off the park would kead to the tenth title in 11 years.
GURN AND BEAR IT…Ange Postecoglou is clearly unimpressed by his team’s display at Livingston.
The Greek-Australian gaffer was without skipper Callum McGregor, main marksman Kyogo Furuhashi, Scotland international double-act James Forrest and Greg Taylor plays £2.5million new Bhoy Giorgos Giakoumakis was left out of the squad as he continued to work on his fitness since his deadline-day arrival.
The club splashed out around £20million in their summer revamp while wantaways Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer, Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham got their wish and moved to England.
With vacancies in the chief executive and chief recruitment officer roles adding to the upheaval, former Bulgarian international midfielder Petrov felt it was inevitable there would be a hesitant start to a crucial campaign.
The ex-fans’ favourite said: “Everyone is talking about the away form. It’s just a transition period they have to go through.
“Ange is finding it very difficult to get his best team out on the pitch, he is finding it very difficult to pick his best players. It will take time. It’s a transition I think everyone expected.”
GLORY DAYS…Stiliyan Petrov turns away in joy after scoring in the 6-2 derby win over their Ibrox foes in August 2000. Henrik Larsson looks impressed.
Petrov, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: “I think fans are quite satisfied with what’s going on the pitch.
“The way the manager wants Celtic to play, it’s very difficult. There’s a lot of details need to be covered.
“He always stresses how he loves going forward and loves scoring goals, but they have got a lot of new players at the back and they need time to gel.
“There’s a lot of work that needs doing on the pitch, he knows, and he is talking about it. He is quite calm and he knows the process will take time.
“I believe when the new manager was appointed with everything on the board with the chief executive and director of football, I think everyone understands, especially the fans, that the club is going through a change, a transition, that needs time, needs patience.
“I think the Celtic fans are quite prepared to give this manager time and at the end of the season they will analyse it.”
*Stiliyan Petrov was speaking at The John Hartson Foundation Golf Day at Turnberry. The Hartson Foundation supports various cancer charities around the UK.