A lack of fight in his tired Celtic team is the reason that Champions Celtic lost at home to St Johnstone tonight. Celtic recently held on the secure the points at Perth after looking comfortable with a two goal lead. The Saints then traveled to Tannadice and comprehensively took care of Celtic’s opponents over the next three matches in three separate competitions. Indeed the Dundee United management team of Jackie McNamara and Simon Donnelly were both at Celtic Park tonight and will have left with renewed hope after St Johnstone proved that domestically Celtic are not invincible.
And things went from bad to worse for the popular Celtic manager tonight with Adam Matthews limping off with a twisted ankle which may see him struggle to make the forthcoming Dundee United triple header.
Yet Ronny Deila was looking more for reasons than excuses after the match which was also watched by Celtic legend Billy McNeil who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this week. Ronny had this to say about tonight’s 1-0 home defeat, which featured an outstanding goal early in the second half by Danny Swanson. The manager had this to say tonight after the disappointing loss:
‘It’s not about finding excuses tonight. The performance wasn’t good enough. We have had a hard programme with important matches and we had a big setback tonight.
‘I’m disappointed about that but we have to bounce back on Sunday and we have to makes this into a positive.
‘We have played three games in a very short time and we have also been in Italy. It’s been very tough on the boys but it’s disappointing that we lost and didn’t get anything.
‘Every time we play in Scotland we are favourites and should win. Tonight there was a lack of fight – we didn’t fight enough.
‘We started the game quite well, created some chances but didn’t score. After that, we were too open and didn’t press as a team, while offensively we kept going into the centre. We need to have more width into the team, put crosses in and not be too easy to read.
‘Everything came through the centre of the pitch. We had some chances, but you could see the lack of energy, there wasn’t the determination to get the ball into the net. It was a bit like Hamilton, though we created more chances in that game.
‘There is always another chance in football, and that’s a positive. We have four days to get us ready and we are going to use them very well and we are going to put a good performance against Dundee United.
‘We have to move on and learn from this and make ourselves ready for Sunday, and that’s the only way we can make this good.’