The Jack Hendry criticism has been around for a while, and not without good reason either.

Since signing from Dundee, the Scottish defender has been sloppy and poor in nearly every appearance. He put in a very capable display in the memorable 3-2 win at Ibrox last season. It was a performance that got him in the good books with the supporters and set him up nicely.

This season, however, the former Dundee man has stumbled from disaster to disaster. Hendry has done well to make 14 Celtic appearances this term. The problem? The Hoops have failed to win in seven of them.

Jack Hendry is consistently error-prone on the ball (Matt Browne/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

He looks panicky on the ball and unsure of what to do when in possession. Add that to his nervy defending and general sloppiness, and it’s easy to chalk this up as a bad buy.

In truth, however, Hendry could still provide a turn for Celtic given the fact that Brendan Rodgers likes him. The Celtic manager has often backed his nearly £1.5million signing, and is desperate for him to be a success.

The saving grace for Hendry is the fact that he’ll still get opportunities. Dedryck Boyata is highly likely to be away in January, whilst Filip Benkovic is only here until the end of the season. With Jozo Simunovic also consistently injured, it leaves just Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer as the only viable long-term options.

It’s absolutely vital that Hendry cleans up his sloppy errors. His poor passes and nervousness on the ball has cost Celtic on big occasions. He played a real part in Celtic’s poor start to the campaign, and much of it was down to his distribution of the ball.

Filip Benkovic has been a huge step-up in class from Hendry (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Yet, not many would deny Hendry is an imposing figure. A real tower of a man, the Celtic defender has the strength and physical gifts to be a commanding centre-back. In the mean-time, however, he has to be working on his ball-retention and confidence on it.

It feels as though Hendry is an old-fashioned centre-back struggling to adapt to the modern game. Unfortunately for him, Rodgers is never going to tell his defence to go route one unless desperation kicks in.

Some real movement is going to happen with Celtic’s defence over the course of the next six months to a year. Hendry will still have a secure contract at that time and has to use his time out of the side to work on his inefficiencies.

If he doesn’t, he can kiss his Celtic chances goodbye.

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