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Chris Sutton names the three Celtic players that must step up during December

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Chris Sutton has named three Celtic players that must make an impact this month of the club is to remain on course to win the SPFL title.

The sight of Tony Ralston, Stephen Welsh and Jota coming off injured against Hearts was a sobering one at the most congested stage of the season.

Thursday’s Europa League tie against Real Betis is virtually meaningless but the eight other matches before the January break carry huge significance after Celtic bounced back from a rocky start to the season.

Three defeats and a draw in their first seven SPFL matches was the form of a mid-table side but in their last eight SPFL matches the hoops have picked up 22 points including four successive wins on the road.

With wear and tear starting to impact on a squad that barely stretches beyond 16 players Ange Postecoglou will have to dig deeper starting tomorrow away to Dundee United.

Assessing the critical next four weeks In the Daily Record, Sutton writes:

It’s time for other players, those boys who are on the fringe need to come to the fore. Mikey Johnston, Liel Abada and James McCarthy, it’s time for all of them to step up.

Thursday’s win against Hearts in midweek kicked off a nine game fixture list for December, it’s going to be a month which stretches Celtic to the limit.

I had to check Johnston’s age and it’s hard to believe he’s still only 22. I can remember him playing a Champions League qualifier in Sarajevo a few years ago, he was excellent that night and scored. That was the start of a really good campaign for him and then he dropped out of things.

He’s someone who needs to show more, for years now he’s been in and around the first team but hasn’t managed to get a decent run in the side. Injuries haven’t helped his cause but his time is now and he needs to show Postecoglou what he can do and on a consistent basis.

It looks as though he’ll get his opportunity now as a straight replacement for Jota and he’s got to grab it.

Greg Taylor and Giorgos Giakoumakis should be available over the next few weeks but there appears to be no date in place for the return of Chris Jullien.

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  • Eddie Myles says:

    Johnson isn’t Good enough for Celtic.No end product or ability to pass to a colleague..Injury prone.I can’t see what he has to offer…Forrest is another who hasbeen getting away with not producing for far too long.Heis never a Celtic number 7…Mcarthyis a mystery..how can you be a regular for 10 years in South London side Crystal Palace while offering so little

  • scouse bhoy says:

    jamesy is a tremendous player.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      I also don’t think Mikey Johnson is good enough for Celtic ,I watched him the other night when he came on he either just runs into defenders and loses the ball or he just passes it backwards ,I’m maybe being unfair he maybe needs more game time but at present he doesn’t look like he can do anything telling.jamesy looked a bit jaded but he also needs game time.

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