Celtic hero Chris Sutton says it's time for experienced Bhoys to step up

By Euan Davidson

September 25, 2021

Former Celtic goal-scorer Chris Sutton has said it’s up to the experienced players to help Ange Postecoglou through the club’s injury crisis.

The Hoops have had their problems to seek in terms of player fitness. With Christopher Jullien already out for a lengthy spell, Postecoglou had to strengthen the Celtic defence. The fitness of James Forrest and Mikey Johnston meant that some new, young wing talent was required, while Giorgos Giakoumakis and Kyogo are both missing up front.

Add Callum McGregor’s latest injury woes to the mix, and that constitutes a real problem.

And Celtic favourite Chris Sutton suggests that the more experienced players in the squad need to step up amongst the absentees and lay a long-term claim at Celtic.

The outspoken ex-striker said [Daily Record]:

“I understands results like Livi will get fans’ backs up but they are going to have to be realistic.

Callum McGregor chats to 67 Hail Hail after signing bumper new Celtic deal

Callum McGregor chats to 67 Hail Hail after signing bumper new Celtic deal
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“This is a club that finished 25 points behind Rangers last season and needed completely overhauled. We know things could have moved quicker in terms of the recruitment, but that’s not on the manager.

“He will need the people around him to lift him as well and it’s going to be on the more experienced players to really step up to the mark in the coming weeks.

“The likes of Jota, Liel Abada and Kyogo have hit the ground running and while Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Josip Juranovic have been launched in to the side but they’ll need to show they have what it takes to be Celtic players.

“McGregor will be back soon, Christopher Jullien is on the way and Kyogo has resumed training. This is a brutally tough period for Postecoglou who is due an upturn in fortunes.”

Chris Sutton is right; it’s time for experienced Celtic players to stand up

In fairness, the players he’s listed there have offered something extra to the team. Carter-Vickers, Starfelt and Juranovic all have excellent experience for club and country.

And while fans are taking longer to warm to Starfelt, all three have exhibited worthy performances in a Celtic shirt. But building consistency, especially now, really is crucial.

The likelihood is that the squad will continue to be stretched thin for a wee while yet. Anton McElhone has come in to help out in terms of player fitness, but it’s a long-term process. There’s no easy answer to Celtic’s current injury problems.

Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

The positive is that, on paper, Celtic will have a formidable squad once some key players return from injury. In every position, the team have options they didn’t have before. That’s a very good thing.

But, even though they’re new to Celtic, Sutton’s bang on; it’s the guys with experience that Postecoglou will need to count on. Jota, Abada and the like are exciting young talents, but they haven’t had to drag teams through tough matches in the way others have.

There’s a really good blend of ages and careers in the Celtic dressing room, injuries or no. But we have to agree here; it’s the lads who have seen and done it all before who are particularly important at this tough juncture.

Read more: Celtic are similar to us, says Dundee United boss Tam Courts