By Matt Farr
Football Insider analyses three major talking points from Celtic’s 4-1 Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over St Mirren on Sunday.
Mackay-Steven should be dropped
The return of James Forrest cannot come soon enough. Or Patrick Roberts, for that matter. Mackay-Steven, 26, has had ample opportunities to impress for Celtic in their absence, but he once again failed to make a decent account of himself to Brendan Rodgers. He was hooked at half-time by Rodgers in favour of Roberts after an extremely disappointing afternoon, and with Roberts now back in contention, it seems unlikely that Mackay-Steven will be seen again for a while. He has ability, but his lack of end product, composure and clinical touch does not make him an effective starter for the club.
Treble still on the cards
There were initial doubts when St. Mirren went in at half time with a one goal lead, but Celtic bounced back emphatically in the second period to deny the visitors. As such, the Celtic juggernaut rolls on into the next round of the competition, and moves them one step closer to a famous domestic treble. The Scottish giants have not achieved the feat since the 2000-01 under Martin O’Neill, but Rodgers and co are on course to cement their place in history this term. With the League Cup already in the bag, they are just two wins away from lifting the Scottish Cup, while they could also lift the Premiership title within their next three outings. The added incentive will be to finish the entire domestic campaign unbeaten, having already gone 34 games unbeaten.
Much better needed against Rangers
It took Celtic all of 50 minutes to come alive, and while it got them out of trouble against St. Mirren, it is clear that much improvement will be needed in their next outing. The next point of call for Rodgers’ side is the Old Firm derby with Rangers in a weeks’ time, and their main rivals with be in good spirits after their thumping 6-0 win over Hamilton on Saturday. Throughout the first half, Celtic were not clinical enough in front of goal, spurning chance after chance. Their struggles were made worse when St. Mirren took an early lead, and it continued that way until changes were made in the second half. As the game progressed, Celtic rediscovered much of their fluency, and that is the kind of performance they need against Rangers.
In other Celtic news, here is how fans reacted to Kouassi Eboue’s selection.