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Hamilton 1 Celtic 2

Stephen McManus has revealed the Celtic players and management held a clear-the-air meeting on Saturday night following a fractious beginning to Tony Mowbray's tenure as Parkhead boss.

Mowbray had bemoaned the lack of quality at his disposal in recent weeks, even though yesterday's 2-1 win over Hamilton at New Douglas Park took the club a point above Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Yesterday's win was Celtic's first in five games, but McManus believes only time will tell if the meeting has made a difference.

'”We had a good meeting yesterday and it stays between the lads and the coaching staff,'' said McManus.

“Time will tell if it has been beneficial.

“Over the course of the season you have chats as a group and that's what happened.

“Communication is a big factor in any line of work but one thing we are looking to do as players, manager and coaching staff is to drive the club forward.''

McManus, who was off the pitch for the last 15 minutes of the first half to get stitches in a eye wound, added: “We won the game so it's an improvement.

“But we are not going to kid ourselves on as a team. As individuals we need to get better.

“The manager has his ideas which we take on board.

“The most important thing is that everyone in the dressing room, the manager and the players, are all going in the right direction and that's what we want.''

Mowbray was a relieved man to escape Lanarkshire with all three points after a late scare.

After a textbook volley from Shaun Maloney and a close-range drive from Scott McDonald gave the visitors a comfortable interval lead, there looked no way back for Accies.

The Parkhead side, indeed, cruised through the second half

but Mickael Antoine-Curier scored seven minutes from time to set up a nervy finale for Celtic and only stand-in goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska's fine save from James McArthur in the dying stages, when the Accies midfielder was clean through on goal, prevented the home side stealing a point.

After stressing the importance of performances in recent weeks, the Celtic boss was reluctant to discuss his side's display, claiming the result was the most important aspect of the afternoon.

“I was happy with the endeavour, commitment and desire to win the match,'' Mowbray said.

“But it's all about results and the history books will show that we won 2-1. It's just another three points and we will move on.''

Mowbray explained that the absence of regular goalkeeper Artur Boruc and midfielder Scott Brown was down to leg and ankle injuries respectively.

He said: “Artur has been carrying the knock for six or seven weeks and getting through it but it came to the point where we had to take him out.

“Scott Brown needs to sort his ankle out long-term, he got a knock on it in midweek and it wasn't good enough to play with today.''

Accies captain McArthur admits he should have levelled with his later chance.

“It was a very good chance to get a point and I'm very disappointed not to score,'' he said.

“I'm already thinking what I should have done but you move on.''

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph