Jackie McNamara says that Celtic’s weakness in Europe has been the quality of their defending and questioned whether new arrival Boli Bolingoli can address the issue.
The former Parkhead ace, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the 24-year-old left-back looks more adept to contributing in attack than defence after his first two games for the Hoops.
Bolingoli started both Champions League qualifiers against FK Sarajevo after his arrival from from Rapid Vienna but was left admitting he needed to improve after his error led to the opposition’s goal in the second leg.
With the Bhoys one step closer to the Champions League group stages, McNamara insists Neil Lennon needs to improve his side’s defensive capabilities to make a mark in Europe, claiming the demands are different on the domestic stage.
Admitting Bolingoli looks dangerous in attack, he went on to question if he has the necessary quality at the back.
McNamara told Football Insider: “At the moment you’d say he looks stronger going forward. He is quoted as saying he loves to attack and get forward, similar to Kieran Tierney.
“You have two different ways of looking at it. The Scottish game, Celtic are going to attack all the time. When it comes to the Champions League, hopefully we can get there, then you need to do a lot more defending and need to be good at it.
“I think that’s what’s caught us out the last couple of years, we’ve had some big results against us, seven-nils against good opposition.”
Celtic made it to the Europa League round of 32 last season after failing to qualify for the Champions League, AEK Athens knocking them out at the final stage of qualifying.
Their Europa League campaign, which included victories over Rosenborg and RB Leipzig, came to an end with a 3-0 aggregate defeat to Valencia in the knock-out stages.