'Poor planning' - Chris Sutton issues Celtic warning ahead of big fixtures
By Danny Wright
Chris Sutton has warned Celtic that their upcoming opponents will sense a chance to end their unbeaten domestic run after they lost to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The Hoops are gearing up to play Hibernian at Hampden Park on Saturday in a Scottish League Cup semi-final clash before facing Aberdeen at Pittodrie next week in the Premiership.
Brendan Rodgers has once again seen his defence depleted and was forced to name a makeshift backline against Bayern on Wednesday as Mikael Lustig started at centre-back and Cristian Gamboa emerged from the fringes of the squad to play at right-back.
Sutton has once again pointed the finger at Celtic’s failure to sign another centre-back in the summer transfer window, calling it “poor planning” to have not have a contingency plan after a move for South Africa international Rivaldo Coetzee broke down after a failed medical.
Now, the ex-Parkhead striker has suggested that Hibs and the Dons will be motivated by the opportunity of playing against a weakened defence.
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“These are constant issues and the problem should have been addressed,” said Sutton on Celtic’s defensive woes on the Daily Record website.
“The manager wanted Rivaldo Coetzee but he failed a medical. However, all his eggs should not have gone into one basket. If they did it was poor planning.
“It’s a subject I’ve already discussed but it’s become an issue again right now because Celtic are weakened and Hibs and Aberdeen will sense it in the next five days.
“Neil Lennon and Derek McInnes can say all the right things but it comes down to whether or not the players themselves really feel as if they can go out and do damage against a superior team.”
Celtic will keep alive their chance of winning their first piece of silverware of the season by winning against Hibernian on Saturday and book their spot in the League Cup final, where they will play either Rangers or Motherwell, who play each other on Sunday.
Next up will be a very big fixture against Aberdeen, who are currently level on points with the Bhoys at the summit of the Premiership table.