Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 May 2016

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Celtic's Deila needs to aim for double top , says Walker

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 05/01/2016

Winner: Leigh Griffith’s scored as Celtic beat Partick 1-0
Winner: Leigh Griffith’s scored as Celtic beat Partick 1-0

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker has urged Ronny Deila to shake up his tactics by relaxing his emphasis on playing a lone striker.

Celtic failed to win three out of four matches without injured top goalscorer Leigh Griffiths and they needed the forward to come off the bench to snatch a late 1-0 win against Partick Thistle on Saturday, which moved them three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership

Nadir Ciftci only has four goals since his summer move from Dundee United and Walker believes Deila should give him some support and return to the days when Celtic fans had pairings like Chris Sutton and Henrik Larsson to entertain them.

"He could shake it up a bit. Celtic are renowned for their striking partnerships down through the years," said Walker.

"I played in one myself with Frank McAvennie, who was a terrific player. Larsson and Sutton were here not so long ago.

"I think Nadir Ciftci, if Leigh Griffiths is injured, certainly needs a bit of help. He's not the type of striker who can play up front on his own.

"Leigh Griffiths has been terrific but not quite 100 per cent fit at the moment although still able to come on at the weekend and score the all-important winner.

"So I think the supporters would like to see some flexibility from the manager in the way that he plays."

Walker also feels Celtic need to spend wisely during the transfer window, with the likes of Derk Boerrigter and Stefan Scepovic possibly set to move on.

"When you look at the amount of money Celtic spent getting the likes of Boerrigter and Scepovic in, that's the best part of £5m," said Walker, who scored 25 goals during Celtic's centenary double-winning season.

"When Celtic spend that type of money, you expect to see a bit of evidence on the park that they are improving, but those two have done absolutely nothing. Certainly the recruitment can improve."

Rangers have made a move to sign Accrington pair Josh Windass and Matt Crooks, according to Stanley's majority shareholder.

Andy Holt revealed on Twitter that he was aware Rangers had opened talks with the players, who both turn 22 this month.

In a series of tweets, which were retweeted on Accrington's official account, Holt said: "I have been informed today that rangers are talking to Josh and Crooksey about a move.

"This is unsolicited and is being done under Fifa international regs that I totally disagree with. You know as much as I do now. Come on Stanley."

Both players' deals expire in the summer and they are free to speak to other clubs about summer moves under freedom of contract, although they would be subject to compensation fees.

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