Celtic cannot afford to use defender Benjamin Jullien and his latest injury as “excuses”.
No Jullien backtracking
Those were the words of former Scotland manager Alex McLeish, who reacted to the Bhoys’ seismic setback that the 27-year-old was ruled out for four months after picking up a serious knee injury, which manager Neil Lennon described as a “hammer blow.”
With the Bhoys currently 19 points behind arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership standings with three games in hand, McLeish told Football Insider that Lennon cannot hide behind Jullien’s injury as a get out of jail free card.
“I was loathed to mention Jullien because of the fact that he’s now going to be out for a while,” he said.
“My philosophy was always: ‘Well, if you’re not going to have a certain player for a few months, you’ve got to stop talking about it, and we have to stop making excuses about it.’
“Regardless of losing games in the past, in my career and then you come on to see: ‘Well, we missed Jullien, we missed this one, we missed that one and it just wasn’t a level playing field.’ Then the critics will run rings round you and they will not give you any leeway.
“You’ve still got to win and Neil will be very conscious of that and he’s still trying to find that perfect formula in defence between Duffy, Bitton or whoever.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
McLeish raises a fair point. Celtic are so far behind that there can be no more excuses for the Hoops to drop any points with their three games in hand.
Of course, Jullien’s presence at the back will be missed. Nevertheless, the nine-in-a-row champions must adapt to the problems that they face.
Time will tell whether Lennon’s side can claw their way closer to the blue side of Glasgow.
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