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Club News - In-depth with Simon Haworth: Recent games and squad update
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Author: Taran Dhamrait - Mon 5 Oct 20

Celtic Manager Simon Haworth sat down to give his detailed thoughts on the last couple of games and provided an update on the current injury situation within the squad.

On Saturday’s game…

“I thought we were awful first half. I thought the lads let themselves down, they let the club down and let myself and the staff down.

“It was completely out of character, in fairness they came out in the second half and probably did enough to win the game. They had enough possession, created enough opportunities to dig themselves out of the hole that they’d put themselves in, they almost did that. It was just unforgivable to let them score again straight from kick-off.

“It was a real day to forget, it’s not been a pleasant experience and it’s not been good from the lads. I think they deserve all the flack they’ve been getting from myself and also from other people because Saturday was not a good enough performance on any level.

“It’s a positive that they reacted in the second half, they showed what they should have been doing so in a way its more frustrating because if they came out like that from the beginning we’d have won the game like we did in pre-season comfortably.

“Longridge came out sharper, they smelt an upset and we didn’t deal with that. We were probably a bit fortunate to go in two down but second half we created enough to win the game four or five - two. It’s a lack of concentration and naivety to let them score and not get to penalties to at least give us a shot at going through.”

On injuries…

“With the amount of injuries we’ve got, we’ve been decimated and I think this is the worst injury list I’ve ever had. We had six or seven at Scarborough, a load on Saturday and a couple of people have picked up new injuries.

“We’re really struggling at the moment but I’m not using that as an excuse for Longridge, because the players that were out there were good enough to beat Longridge, please don’t take that as an excuse for that game. That game is a separate issue that wasn’t good enough.

“In terms of Scarborough and that performance, and moving forward into this week, we really do need our best team out there before we can start making any sweeping statements on the team.

“A couple of players are hopefully (coming back). Matty (Makinson) was back and Callum Harris was there on the weekend but Ben Woods and Freddie (Sass) were on the bench but weren’t fit.

“Keano is injured and then obviously from the weekend, Krisel (Prifti) and Damani (Holness) are now injured. Nico (Evangelinos) might be fit for Tuesday but at the moment it’s a one back two out kind of thing.

“I’ve not experienced this and we probably need to get our best team, our best squad together for a run of games.

“There’s still a good team there and our performance against Bishop Auckland wasn’t that long ago, I just feel we need to get everybody back playing and fit and after a run of games, we can probably make a fair judgement of this team.”

Message to the players….

“I’ve just said you need to put in a performance and bounce back. If because of injuries they get a chance, they’ve got to take it.

“We’re going to try and get a result on Tuesday and dig out a result at the weekend.

“Hopefully a few players come back and we can then start to think whether we need to add to the squad. At the moment, it would suggest that we do. However, I think it’s harsh to make the call just because we have that many missing. It’s not just one or two, it’s a lot of good and important players. Charley (Doyle) is out, Ben Woods, Freddie, Matty Makinson, Nico and Callum Harris. A lot of good players, who have that bit of experience.

“Let’s hopefully get everybody back, grind out a few results in the meantime and then we can see where we’re at.

“There’s a massive lack of confidence in the way we’re playing. Results bring confidence, up until that Bishop Auckland game, everybody was buzzing. The lads were buzzing and now they’ve had a couple of heavy defeats, some of the new boys to the league and some of the younger players have been caught out by that a little. They’ll learn and they’ll be better players for it.

“Football’s football and we need a few results quickly to gain confidence.”

In audio form - SoundCloud

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