Chris Sutton launches passionate defence of Celtic manager live on air

By Euan Davidson

September 23, 2021

Chris Sutton says Celtic fans are going to have to put up with the odd bad result if it means long-term progress.

The outspoken ex-Celt was part of Premier Sports’ coverage of the Bhoys meeting with Raith Rovers. In a conversation about Sunday’s result and the team’s defensive frailties, Sutton was keen to get a point across.

That point? While the Celtic defence gets used to each other, more bad results might come.

Before kick-off, Sutton said [Premier Sports]:

“Clearly, there needs to be improvement. Starfelt hasn’t been good enough. Carter-Vickers has struggled, beyond his first start. Welsh has had his moments.

“They’re being put under pressure and Celtic are being exposed.

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“What I would say, is there needs to be a bit of faith in this manager, in the way that he wants to set his team out, and there are going to be blips along the way.

“Everybody has to accept that. Celtic fans need to accept it. He’s been in the job 3 months. There’s been a massive overhaul of players, players who have just been thrown in.

“At the weekend, [there were] a lot of players out injured. That’s no excuse, the performance was poor, it was weak, and Celtic need to do better. But this is a long-term plan, a long-term appointment.

“And at this moment, Celtic fans are going to have to suffer occasionally.”

Chris Sutton is right; Celtic fans knew there’d be growing pains

It’s worth remembering that we’ve still won plenty of matches, are only 4 points off the top of the table after 6 games, are in the Europa League and have loads of players waiting to come back.

There’s no crisis, just some difficult games and a few disappointing results, in the context of major upheaval. Ange Postecoglou knows he has the backing of supporters, and it’s insulting to suggest we’re panicking already.

Some fantastic players have joined the club, while significant talents have also left Parkhead.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Losing Scott Brown alone would represent upheaval, let alone Ajer, Edouard and Christie.

Add in a new set of tactical instructions, the reintroduction of supporters, injuries and other variables, and some common sense is needed.

So, perhaps Chris Sutton is being outspoken by giving the calmest, most measured take possible. It’s a long-term project.

In other news: Joyous Jota, improved McCarthy; 3 things we learned as Celtic beat Raith Rovers