Ryan Christie has given a blunt assessment of Celtic’s Champions League defeat to Cluj – insisting the performance wasn’t good enough.
Neil Lennon’s men managed to squander the lead in the tie on two separate occasions in Glasgow as the Romanians ran out 4-3 winners on the night.
It means Celtic have fallen at the third stage of Champions League qualification for the second successive year and another season in the Europa League beckons.
“Conceding the first goal wasn’t good,” Christie told the Evening Times. “We knew their main strength was getting balls into the box with their height and they are very direct, so for them to get a throw in and a ball into the box so easily was very naive from us.
“But going into the second half and going ahead twice, especially the second time with about 15 minutes to go, then you can’t really be losing the game 4-3.
“We had 11 players on the park that should be able to beat Cluj at home, it’s that simple.
“We’ve not done that, and for me I don’t think it’s anything to do with tactics or individual errors, it’s a collective.
“Over 90 minutes we weren’t good enough.”
Christie is half right in his Cluj assessment
When Celtic fail to turn up and lose such big games there is always a mass examination from supporters.
Our last one was back in December when we lost 1-0 in a abysmal performance at Ibrox. Last night’s display wasn’t quite as bad as that but the result was arguably more damaging. Losing four goals at home to a Romanian outfit, however good, doesn’t reflect well on anyone at the club.
These examinations also have a habit of dragging everyone through the mud. Few will be safe from criticism after such a shocking evening.
Christie is right – Celtic simply weren’t good enough. But tactics did cost them too and that falls as Lennon’s door. Why the Northern Irishman didn’t try to tighten things up when we went ahead in the tie in baffling. Both Christopher Jullien and Nir Bitton would have made very good substitutes at that point in the game.
Individual errors also cost the club badly. The two Scott’s – Brown and Bain – were most culpable for that. Questions will be asked about the future of both in the first-team.
As for Christie, he may be one of the only few who doesn’t feel the spotlight shine onto him.