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Celtic ace hopes fans will give Postecoglou time

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20th September, 2021
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Celtic supporters will be patient with their Australian boss Ange Postecoglou, according to one of the club’s favourite former players.

Stiliyan Petrov, who won ten trophies and made more than 300 appearances during eight seasons with the club, says the club is in transition and fans are ‘satisfied with what’s going on on the pitch’.

Postecoglou suffered a sixth away defeat in charge on Sunday, losing at then-bottom club Livingston, to leave Celtic sixth in the Premiership table. It is their worst start in 23 years.

The Hoops made 12 summer signings but Postecoglou was without the likes of skipper Callum McGregor, top goalscorer Kyogo Furuhashi and new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis for the 1-0 defeat at Livingston.

With vacancies in the chief executive and chief recruitment roles adding to the state of flux Bulgarian Petrov feels a slow start was inevitable this season.

“Everyone is talking about the away form,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s just a transition period they have to go through.

“Ange is finding it very difficult to get his best team out on the pitch, he is finding it very difficult to pick his best players.

“It will take time. It’s a transition I think everyone expected.

“I think fans are quite satisfied with what’s going on on the pitch and it’s just one of those periods they have to go through.

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“The way the manager wants Celtic to play, it’s very difficult. There’s a lot of details need to be covered.

“He always stresses how he loves going forward and loves scoring goals but they have got a lot of new players at the back and they need time to gel.

“There’s a lot of work that needs doing on the pitch, he knows, and he is talking about it. He is quite calm and he knows the process will take time.”

Petrov signed for Celtic in the early days of John Barnes’ reign in 1999 and helped the new manager to 12 wins in his first 13 matches in charge.

But Barnes was gone by the middle of February 2000 after a Scottish Cup defeat by Inverness came on top of three league games without a win.

When it was pointed out to him that time is not a luxury afforded to managers in Glasgow, Petrov, speaking at a John Hartson Foundation golf day, said: “I believe when the new manager was appointed with everything on the board with the chief executive and director of football, I think everyone understands, especially the fans, that the club is going through a change, a transition, that needs time, needs patience.

“I know you stressed there is no time if you don’t win but I think the Celtic fans are quite prepared to give this manager time and at the end of the season they will analyse it.”

© AAP

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