According to Alex McLeish, Micky Beale has to find a way past a physical, athletic Celtic side.
The squad put together by Ange Postecoglou has been described as many things but physical in the football sense certainly isn’t one of them.
McLeish spent the weekend wallowing in the past at a Rangers Legends event, nostalgically recalling his days in the dug-out 20 years ago.
That was certainly up against a physical side. Martin O’Neill had Bobo Balde in defence with Johan Mjallby and Joos Valgaeren on either side, Henrik Larsson led the attack with John Hartson and Chris Sutton often in the same XI while Stan Petrov, Alan Thompson and Neil Lennon could look after themselves.
Beyond Cameron Carter-Vickers and super-sub Oh Hyeon-gyu physicality is something that is lacking in the current Celtic side.
For those that have been paying attention Postecoglou put an emphasis on pacey, dynamic players with lots of movement and variety.
Explaining the task facing Beale, McLeish told the Daily Record:
Celtic have a physical, athletic side and that’s brought them some domination in the last few years. Maybe we need to look and see about bringing that kind of formula into our club. Sometimes with players it’s confidence and I think Michael is working really hard on that.
The league is going to be very difficult at this stage of the season, given the points deficit. It kind of reminded me of my own time at the club. When I first took over the league was pretty much gone. We had a couple of cups to win and we managed to do that.
For this group of players there is a huge game ahead in the Scottish Cup. The team would need to claw back the deficit in the league and that means Celtic dropping a helluva lot of points.
Since being sacked by Scotland in April 2019 following a 3-0 defeat by Kazakhstan McLeish hasn’t been involved in management.