Connect to share and comment

Football: Celtic worried about poor away form

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby says the champions need to address their away form following a 1-1 draw with Ross County at Victoria Park on Sunday.

The Glasgow giants have now gone six away games without a win in the Scottish Premier League - their worst run in the league since going 10 games without a win away from home in 1994/95 season.

The Parkhead side have triumphed in just eight of 18 games on the road this season, dropping 36 points on their travels.

Celtic will post the lowest ever winning tally in the history of the SPL championship, which they will collect at home against St Johnstone next weekend, and their away form has played a major part in that.

Mjallby, who picked up three SPL titles along with two Scottish Cups and two League Cups in six years as a player at Celtic, says going six games without an away win isn't acceptable for the Glasgow giants.

"That is not a record we are proud of," Mjallby said.

"It always annoys me when we don't win. I know that I work for a club where you are always expected to win trophies and games.

"I played here for nearly six years and I have that mentality that you always have to win.

"We had hoped, obviously, to get the three points and get back to winning ways and show a bit more winning mentality.

"But I think at least we looked a bit better organised defensively in this game.

"Our next game is at home where we have been in very good form and we have another chance against Dundee United in our final game to get an away win."

With Celtic resting a host of first team stars only three players survived from the team that lost 3-1 to Motherwell last weekend.

However, the much-changed Hoops got off to a perfect start when Anthony Stokes fired them in front the fourth minute.

Europe-chasing County knew they needed something from the game if they were to catch neighbours Inverness Caledonian Thistle in third place and got back on level terms in sensational fashion in the 41st minute through a superb Iain Vigurs strike.

Tony Watt thought he had restored Celtic' advantage in first-half stoppage time but his effort was wrongly ruled out for off-side.

Nigerian international Efe Ambrose had a header cleared off the line and County substitute Paul Lawson twice tested Lukasz Zaluska but neither side could find a second half winner.

The result means the Hoops have failed to win in three trips north to Dingwall this season.

"We came up here confident we could put in a good performance and get the three points," Hoops assistant manager Mjallby added.

"But on the other side you always have to respect your opponents. They are in good form and are really hard to break down and work hard for each other.

"We were fairly happy with the first half where we played quite well then in the second half we played too deep in our own half.

"But we should have had a second goal at the end of the first half. The referee said it was offside but I've seen it and there was no chance it was offside and goals change games.

"It's a little bit annoying and we have been tinkering with the team but we want to win away from home."

The result leaves Ross County, who are in their first season in the Scottish Premier League, four points off the European spots with two games remaining.

Manager Derek Adams concedes it will be a tall order but insists his players will continue to fight.

"We need two wins now. We need to beat Motherwell and we need to beat Inverness if we are to have any opportunity to get that European place but we'll still give it a go," Adams said.

"I think if someone had said that at the start of the season you would never have believed and shows how far we've come."

str/ak

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130505/football-celtic-worried-about-poor-away-form