By Alex McLeish

12th Mar, 2021 | 4:00pm

McLeish tips Celtic strugglers to 'grow into the jersey' like Rangers stars

Alex McLeish has defended John Kennedy from the “unfair” criticism received since taking temporary charge at Celtic.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Hoops were still paying the price for their poor recruitment in recent transfer windows.

Celtic fans on social media, including Football Insider’s Facebook pages, have criticised Kennedy for a lack of change since taking over from Neil Lennon.

They have also accused him of being part of the problem in his role as a coach under the Northern Irish manager.

The interim boss won his first game in charge 1-0 against Aberdeen but saw his side limp to a 0-0 draw with Dundee on Sunday.

The dropped points handed Rangers the Premiership title ahead of next weekend’s Old Firm tie at Celtic Park.

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However, McLeish insisted Kennedy did not deserve pelters from the Parkhead faithful.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: That’s a bit unfair to say nothing’s changed. He’s only had a couple of games in charge, one or two.

“What will change is if Celtic bring in different players. Recruitment wasn’t spectacular this season and we questioned it right at the beginning. We did say that when you go to the Old Firm you’ve got to hit the ground running.

“Not every Rangers player Steven Gerrard brought in did that but they have grown into the jersey. You never know. Some of these Celtic guys that have been there this season have found out what it’s all about.

“They’ve seen Rangers taking the title so maybe they’ll grow into the jersey like Rangers’ players have.

“They may look back and say that recruitment wasn’t fantastic. A lot of these chaps just didn’t quite hit the ground running.”

In other news, John Collins tipped to secure excellent signings after Celtic return confession.