Celtic have got their “backs against the wall” after issuing an official statement over the warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

That is the view of former Rangers and Scotland star Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes the Hoops have felt the need to defend themselves among the mounting pressure at Parkhead.

In a statement issued on the official Celtic Twitter page, in response to the Scottish Government urging the SFA to investigate the trip, the Bhoys claim the travel was approved by all the relevant parties and authorities when arranged in November.

The squad travelled to the UAE just a day after the 1-0 derby day defeat to Rangers, with the Light Blues now 19 points clear at the top of the table.

Hutton believes the Celtic board feel as though they have been cornered by the increased pressure over the trip and felt the need to address the issue publicly, rather than behind closed doors, to try and alleviate the criticism coming their way.

Hutton told Football Insider: “I think that’s what happened, their back’s against the wall and they’ve had to come out and see look, we went through that the right channels, we’ve done it the right way, we spoke to everybody that we needed to and they said that it was okay.

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“They probably felt their need to get their side of the story out there, because they probably were getting bombarded right, left and centre from everyone.

“I think they’ve obviously had to take that stance where it’s like look, we have to tell our side of the story and that’s what they’ve done, they’ve put it out in the public domain for everyone to see.

“I just don’t think they need this pressure at the moment. We all knew Celtic were going after the game so it just raises the pressure on them. Why, why do that?

“Just don’t go and nothing happens. You don’t need that added pressure at this moment in time, especially when Rangers are doing so well.” 

In other news, Football Insider can reveal a Celtic target has handed in a transfer request to leave his current club.