Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has encouraged people to “calm down a bit” as he stated his belief that the Hoops will come good this season.

It’s been a chastening week for the club as they’ve come under immense pressure and criticism for their performance in Saturday’s Glasgow derby.

Indeed, the 2-0 defeat to Rangers on Saturday has provided plenty of talking points, with more than a few players criticised for their own individual displays. The Hoops now sit four points behind their rivals, but have also played a game fewer.

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And regular BBC pundit McDonald believes the reaction has been a touch OTT as he highlighted the importance of getting the international breaks out the way.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Skippy said: “It’s been a tough few days for Celtic, but this is when players like Broony can come into their own. He’s a natural leader, he’s been through everything with the club, and he can galvanise the team.

“Celtic have to respond, but they did that last year so there is no need to panic. I do think they will find their groove and when the disruption of the international breaks end, it will be a real help for them.

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“There is a long way to go. Celtic are four points behind with a game in hand, so people need to calm down a bit.”

 

Easy to panic in the 10 season, but problems are still there

You can see where McDonald is coming from and he makes some valid points too. The former Gordon Strachan signing worked with Scott Brown in the past and will know just how influential he can be during the bad moments.

However, we can’t simply ignore the glaring problems at the club and use the fact we’ve bounced back in the past as a reason for comfort. That doesn’t wash considering just how many poor displays we’ve had this season.

In recent campaigns when we’ve lost crucial derby fixtures to Rangers, we were able to look back on some good performances beforehand and know what we’re capable of on our day. We haven’t once seen a complete display this season, and that’s what’s panicking supporters.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yes, the international breaks ending for a few months will help, but it’s not like they’re having a mammoth effect. We still play around seven of eight games in between two of them – there’s plenty of games to get your performance levels up. Also, Rangers managed to negotiate the international break well and beat us after coming back.

There are plenty of excuses we can conjure up for our poor performances so far this season, but it’s lazy to do so. Yes, some of the reaction may have been over the top to Saturday, and the league most certainly is nowhere near over.

But there are problems at the club which can’t just be dismissed with “ah well we’ve been here before”. The truth is we haven’t been here before in terms of consistently poor performance levels. That’s the most pertinent issue that must be sorted.

In other news, a midfielder Lennon liked is set to be given a big opportunity with upcoming Celtic foes.

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