CELTIC have now lost more Premiership points than they have won after only seven league games.
Ange Postecoglou saw his slipshod side stumble their way to a 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Parkhead yesterday where Liel Abada scored again – his sixth of the campaign – and David Turnbull, Tom Rogic and Filipe Jota rattled the visitors’ woodwork.
The Hoops have now conceded 11 points from a possible 21 and no-one needs to be reminded you do not win titles with statistics like that.
The next league challenge will come on Sunday at Pittodrie against former skipper Scott Brown and Aberdeen who lost 3-2 to St Mirren yesterday and have now gone eight games without a victory.
PENSIVE…Ange Postecoglou looks down after the 1-1 draw with Dundee United.
They will be as desperate for points as Postecoglou and his players at the weekend.
Before that, though, there is the second Europa League Group G encounter against Bayer Leverkusen under the lights in the east end of Glasgow on Thursday.
The Germans beat Mainz 1-0 at the weekend in their sixth Bundesliga outing and are second in the table, three points behind Bayern Munich.
The Greek-Australian gaffer is now taking some time off the domestic scene to concentrate on the confrontation with Jeremie Frimpong and his mates with Celtic looking to get on the board after going down to Real Betis in the first game. Bizarrely, Postecoglou saw his side score three goals in Seville, but they have now managed only one in two league games against Livingston and the Tannadice outfit.
Of course, the manager has been hit with a problem pile-up on the injury front and he will need to address that urgently in the forthcoming weeks.
Croatian international defender Josip Juranovic, who limped off in the 26th minute against United, is now a doubt for the European match.
Postecoglou said: “He felt his hamstring a little bit. We hope it isn’t too bad. We will get Josip scanned and see how it goes.”
STRUGGLING…Josip Juranovic limped off against Dundee United.
Already ruled out is Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis who is still waiting to make his first appearance after signing on deadline day. The frontman was expected to get some game time in the Premier Sports League Cup quarter-final against Raith Rovers on Thursday, but tweaked a calf in the warm-up.
It almost certainly means Albian Ajeti will start against the Bundesliga team, despite toiling against the Tayside club and is already a contender for Miss of the Season when he failed to hit the net from three yards after a cutback from Abada. Astoundingly, he fired over from almost under the crossbar.
Postecoglou offered an update on the overall injury situation when he said: “Giorgos’ scan came back actually more positive than we thought, so we’re hoping he’ll get back into training this week which is good news because he’s missed a fair bit.
“It wasn’t just the injury which we thought might be significant. We thought he might have to go back into rehab.
SITTING IT OUT…Albian Ajeti who missed a sitter against the Tannadice side.
“We’ve just got to get through to the next international break. By then Giorgos should be available, while Kyogo Furuhashi isn’t too far away and so is Callum McGregor.
“James Forrest, Mikey Johnston will come back to help us – we’re hoping post international break.”
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “James McCarthy took a fair tackle early on and was feeling the effects of that knock, so we just thought we’d change it up at half-time. We didn’t want to make it worse.
“If Giakoumakis gets a full week of training we’re quite hopeful he’ll be ready for Aberdeen.”
Ismaila Soro replaced McCarthy, but the Ivorian appears to be short of confidence and his 45 minutes was hardly memorable.
The manager has a lot of work on his hands as he tries to guide the team through football’s version of a minefield.