By Noel Whelan

30th Jul, 2021 | 8:30pm

Pundit shoots down Postecoglou claim and names who's really to blame for Celtic calamity

Noel Whelan has insisted the Celtic players are to blame for the crushing Champions League qualifying defeat to Midtjylland.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, shot down Ange Postecoglou’s claims he should take responsibility and claimed the senior stars need to step up.

Speaking to Sky Sports after Wednesday’s defeat, the Hoops boss insisted he could not fault the players and shouldered the blame for the result.

The 2-1 loss means Celtic have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the fourth successive season.

Whelan insisted the blame lay solely at the feet of the players.

“I think the pressure was always on straight away because Postecoglou was a bit of an unknown,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

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“But you’ve got to take certain pressures out of his hands. Then it becomes the players’ pressure. You can only do so much as a manager.

“As a player, when you cross over that white line, you know you’re the 11 standing between those lines. You’ve got to do your job properly and get the job done.

“If I was a player, I’d be taking the responsibility right on my shoulders and taking it off the manager’s. I don’t think anyone’s to blame but players at times.

“They made it extremely difficult for themselves by not capitalising on the chances they had at Celtic Park. They had that bad defensive error that allowed them back into the game.

“This is what happens when you don’t punish teams when you get the opportunity. You make silly mistakes, then you go away from home where it’s going to be extremely difficult.

“It’s not the manager’s fault, it’s not the board’s fault, it’s people not doing their jobs.”

In other news, Celtic backed to seal “great coup” after Sky transfer update.