Former captain Jackie McNamara delivers fiery response to dreadful Celtic performance against Rangers

By John McGinley

October 19, 2020

When contemplating a Celtic defeat to Rangers, it’s always important to turn to people you know are die-hard supporters of the club and can tell it how it is.

The inquest into these results are never easy and, frankly, don’t bring us much joy.

However, it’s best to have an honest and open discussion about what is going wrong at Celtic Park.

Nobody has more significant Celtic credentials than former captain Jackie McNamara, and we couldn’t get him on the line quickly enough following Saturday’s match.

He joined us for a passionate chat today, which you can watch in full on our YouTube channel.

“There are a lot of emotions over the weekend that are still raw today,” McNamara told 67 Hail Hail, “Frustration and anger are the probably the two that come to mind.”

So what went wrong?

McNamara said: “A lot of things. A lack of desire all round. There were so many things missing from the performance before we even talk about shape and tactics.

“A lot wrong with the team, with the shape of the team and the application of the team – going into tackles and riding tackles. It was like a testimonial match; it just played into their hands.

“You’re watching it unfold, and you’re going ‘right, let’s make a change, let’s change something here.’ At half-time, you’re expecting something different.”

Nobody came out of the derby with much credit, from the manager to the players. We didn’t have the intensity to match our rivals and that, as much as anything, is what is annoying supporters most.

Celtic now have an immensely tough schedule ahead in domestic and European football, as Neil Lennon searches for answers to the questions hanging over him and his squad.

Nobody is unaware that ten-in-a-row is at stake and, despite his frustrations with this Celtic team, former treble winner McNamara is in no doubt that the manager has the personnel in place to still succeed on that front.

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

He said: “I am still confident. I still think we’ve got enough there to win the league. We still have to play them three times. We’re still in October, we have a long, long way to go, but there are a lot of things that need to be put right.

“I hope the players are hurting as much as the rest of us after the weekend. They’ve got a chance to make history. They’re so lucky.”

We’ll have more from McNamara later this week. Our hour-long conversation would divert to the future of the manager and whether or not he’s still the right man to lead Celtic forward.

Keep an eye on the 67 Hail Hail YouTube channel or the website for that.