By Alex McLeish

1st Oct, 2021 | 5:00pm

McLeish applauds Postecoglou after what he's heard about Celtic stars

Alex McLeish has applauded Ange Postecoglou for defending his Celtic players in public despite their poor run of form this season.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted a hiding from the manager is “the last thing you want to hear” after a disappointing result.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Dundee, as quoted by the Daily Record, Postecoglou admitted “the result is on me” as he refused to criticise his player’s efforts.

He was slightly more critical of his squad after Thursday’s 4-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, although he still levelled some blame on himself.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the Australian boss insisted he “can’t let the guys or myself off the hook” after what he branded an “unacceptable” performance.

McLeish heralded Postecoglou for “caring for the players” during the Hoops’ indifferent spell of form.

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“Why would you criticise them?” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Because if they’ve already had iffy performances then criticism is the last thing you want to hear. You start to think you’re not worthy of even being at the club.

“So you don’t want these thoughts going into players’ heads. He’ll be trying to keep his cup half full.

“Results have been sticky. I know the pressure of what happens at that type of club, having been at Rangers, when you’re not winning.

“The team is maybe not at the level that the fans would like. It is really hard to live with, believe me. The manager goes through a lot and he will be caring for the players as well.”

Celtic sit bottom of their Europa League group after two defeats in as many games.

Meanwhile, they are currently sixth in the Premiership table, six points off table-toppers Rangers.

In other news, Frank McAvennie cannot believe what people are saying about Callum McGregor.