OVER 1200 Celtic supporters have voted in CQN’s Poll to select the three attacking midfielders that they would like to see Ronny Deila starting tomorrow evening at Hamilton.
And the message to Ronny from the support is clear – start the side that the side that finished the game at the weekend against Inverness.
We listed 9 players, the three that started against Inverness (Johansen, Armstrong and Mackay-Steven), the three used substitutes (Allan, Christie and Roberts) and also Kris Commons, Callum McGregor and James Forrest. We excluded Tom Rogic as we weren’t sure if he’s fit.
SCOTT ALLAN tops the vote with 85% of the supporters wanting him to start. If the supporters had their way, he’d be joined in the forward midfield positions by Patrick Roberts (74%) and Ryan Christie (65%).
Saturday’s unused substitute, Kris Commons, back in the squad after illness, came fourth with 33% of the vote.
The three players who started Saturday’s 3-0 win over Inverness, which saw Celtic go 6 points clear of nearest challengers Aberdeen, didn’t do very well. Gary Mackay-Steven polled 16% of the vote for one of three starting slots, Stuart Armstrong got 11%, while Stefan Johansen, last year’s Player of the Year, managed only 10%.
Callum McGregor, who was in good form until dropping out of the team for off the field matters, achieved a mere 3% of the vote but he did avoid the wooden spoon which goes to want away winger James Forrest who received 2% of the votes cast – only 19 supporters from 1206 would have Forrest in their starting line-up tomorrow night.
Stuart Armstrong spoke earlier in the week about how he has struggled to come to terms with the demands of playing for Celtic.
Rony Deila this week spoke out in defence of his fellow countryman Stefan Johansen, who has had a disappointing season and his loss of form has resulted in him being the target for the boo-boys.
And Gary Mackay-Steven yesterday reflected on his own time at Celtic. While recognising he can do better he believes he is already a better player since going the club early last year.
The 25-year-old winger, signed from Dundee United last January, was out of favour in the first half of the season, but has started the last seven games since the 8-1 win over Hamilton in Glasgow last month while scoring four goals in the process.
The Hoops meet Acciesd again at New Douglas Park again tomorrow night and GMS is hoping to turn on the style once more for Ronny Deila.
He said: “The training is at a high tempo here so you become really fit. The manager wants the wide men to contribute going forward and back so that’s what I’ve tried to do.
“I’ve improved defensively since I’ve come here, and tactically. That’s something we do a lot of work on in training so that side of things have been beneficial for me.”
The Scottish international has faced a tough challenge to maintain his place in Deila’s starting line-up with over a dozen players competing for a role in the midfield.
He added: “The manager has a headache every week because I think most of the boys are fit now and performing well in training.
“There’s great competition and it’s keeping everyone on their toes.
“Training is quite competitive at times, certainly there are a few meaty challenges here and there, but it’s all in good faith.
“We all get on with each other and it’s fun to be around, the more competition the better.”
While over 1200 supporters have had their say, the only opinion that matters is that of manager Ronny Deila. If he listens to the support then Allan, Roberts and Christie will be given their chance tomorrow.
You can’t help feeling that both Johansen and Armstrong could do with a spell out of the side.
Over to you Ronny.
*You can still vote HERE
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