Nir Bitton's message to teammates after Carl Starfelt Celtic mistake
Celtic’s comprehensive win against St Johnstone on Sunday was certainly pleasing. Especially so in the midst of many injuries and absences.
Celtic controlled the game for large spells of the 90 minutes, which is a credit to the players who came into the team and were ready for an opportunity.
However, for the captain of the day Nir Bitton, there are still lessons for the unit to learn from the 3-1 win.
Carl Starfelt mistake made life trickier for Celtic
He singled out the poor mistake which led to the opposition goal as one such example of a learning moment, as well as not taking enough of the many chances that had cropped up prior to the Perth side’s way back into the game.
Carl Starfelt gave the ball away cheaply to St Johnstone, allowing them to cross and score easily through Chris Kane. It made a short period of the game far nervier than it should have been in the face of Celtic domination.
Speaking to The Daily Record, he said: “We made it difficult for ourselves. It was a comfortable game for us and we controlled it from the first minute. I’m glad we won. We knew before the game it didn’t matter what team we put out – we are the better team and had to control the game and show it on the pitch.
“We have a strong squad and it doesn’t matter who plays. We should dominate and control the matches.
“We made one mistake and we paid for that. But we need to learn for the future. We need to be more ruthless and finish games off earlier. But, at the end of the day, the most important thing is we won.”
This lack of ruthlessness in front of goal is something that has also been referenced by club leader Callum McGregor recently too, so it’s clearly something being addressed and discussed internally at the club.
After some time off, the winter break will allow the players to work on many of the more frustrating aspects of recent performances in training and hopefully smooth them out for the second half of the season.
Mistakes will happen, but Celtic have to ensure results reflect the overall momentum and domination of control in matches.