Former Hearts midfielder and BBC pundit Michael Stewart has claimed that the credit earned by Ange Postecoglou is ‘disappearing fast’.
Writing in his weekly column for Sun Sport, Stewart claims that it seems to be ‘one step forward, two steps back’ at the moment, as Celtic look to bounce back from disappointing results in the last few weeks.
“Any credit Ange Postecoglou had in the bank at Celtic is disappearing fast.
“Despite Aberdeen’s woes, I’m not sure Pittodrie is the ideal place for him to get it back.
“Sunday’s game is a big one for both Postecoglou and Stephen Glass, given their sides’ respective plights. Right now, it’s hard to say who could do with the three points more.
“Thursday night’s Europa League thrashing by Bayer Leverkusen was a sore one for the Hoops, no question.
“But was anyone really surprised? This is where Celtic are right now.
“They have yet to pick up a point away from home domestically, which is just not good enough. They are sitting sixth in the table, already six points adrift of Rangers in first place.
“But the likes of Christopher Jullien and James Forrest are still out.
“Those are injuries to key players they simply can’t carry. Celtic don’t have a good enough squad to cope with that.
“When those players return to full fitness, things WILL get better. But how long is that going to take?
“In the meantime, should Postecoglou ditch some of his beliefs and become a little more pragmatic?
“It’s a hard one. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who has looked at his track record.
“Everywhere he’s gone, there’s been short-term pain for long-term gain.
“At each place, it has taken time for players to get used to his demands.
“Nothing has happened overnight. But eventually, and this is the key thing, it has clicked.
“Here, it seemed like Celtic were actually ahead of schedule; things looked to be progressing quickly.
“Now it almost feels like we’re back where we started. It’s one step forward and two steps back.”
In the first few months of the season, there were many positive signs in the early stages of Ange Postecoglou’s development on this Celtic side.
Now, that’s not to say those signs have entirely gone away or won’t be back. However, we have suffered a poor run of form in the last few weeks, with points being dropped against the likes of Livingston and Dundee United.
This Sunday feels like an absolute must-win heading to Pittodrie. Despite the form of both sides, a trip to Aberdeen is always expected to be tough.
If we can get to the international break with a positive result and players returning to action once those couple of weeks come to an end, Ange can continue to get on with the vast rebuilding task he has been given to do at the club.