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Lets not go nuts- Sensible Sutton applies Euro logic to Celtic’s Champions League failure

If you want perspective on anything Celtic related look no further than Chris Sutton.

There is no one in the media more vocal in his support for the club than their former striker but equally, when expectations aren’t being met he’s not slow to pick out the failings and highlight them.

It is a refreshing change to much of the media coverage, during the summer Sutton had high hopes for the return of Brendan Rodgers and expectations that his ambitions could be realised after the frustrations of his first stint and rapid departure.

Rather than strengthen the squad during the summer three starters departed with seven projects arriving, even the greatest talent in the dug out would struggle with being dealt that hand, add in injuries to Reo Hatate, Liel Abada and Reo Hatate and it was a seriously undercooked Celtic that entered the Champions League and limped out after five matches.

Wednesday’s win over Feyenoord was very welcome, it showed a depleted side willing to go 90 minutes and beyond to get a victory, halting some very unwelcome statistics.

There is however no getting away from the fact that it was a dead-rubber, typically Sutton wasn’t getting carried away in his Daily Record column but was picking up on the positives from beating Feyenoord:

Let’s not go nuts. It was a meaningless game in terms of qualification and final group position but let’s also not be churlish and be sure to dish out credit where it is due.

Too many times Celtic looked weak and even a bit frightened during the previous five games and unable to take advantage of good spells in games. I’d actually argue that the least-effective of their three home performances, yet the way they lifted themselves after losing a late equaliser said a lot about their development.

In the final stages of the games against Lazio and Atletico Madrid at home, I felt they weren’t decisive enough with the games locked at all square. Not so this week. Celtic took the hammer blow of the late Feyenoord leveller, regrouped, went again and won it.

That’s about mentality and that type of thing stays with players. You remember that next time you are faced with such a scenario. Celtic ended the group with four points and it’s all about context.

Manchester United also got four points and went out. Newcastle finished bottom of their section and went out, although it has to be said they had a horror group. Seville and Union Berlin finished bottom of their groups with less points than Celtic. These clubs, especially the English pair, have spent absolute fortunes and it’s still not enough.

That’s not to say, as FC Copenhagen proved with their progression to the next stage, that it can’t be done, but it’s very tough. We know Celtic weren’t ready for this campaign, I’ve said it often enough and Brendan Rodgers has left no-one at the club in any doubt about what needs to happen next.

By the end of the January transfer window Sutton and the Celtic support will know whether the club is looking to improve and move forward or sit back and serve up more of the same failing menu.

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