Cameron Carter-Vickers admits fan anger at Celtic’s weekend horror show was understandable. But the Parkhead defender says the squad must stay clear-headed, calm and take emotion out of the equation in the hunt for answers.
Brendan Rodgers issued an instant apology to supporters following the 2-0 loss to Hearts. The manager hit out at a lack of “desire” and “passion” as his side crashed to a second-successive top-flight defeat for the first time in 10 years. Some Celtic fans erupted in fury during the demise with chants of “Sack the Board” as their disgust flowed at the performance and also, more pointedly, the recruitment work over the past year which has seen form decline and left Rodgers stating quality signings are urgently needed in next month’s window.
Carter-Vickers was aware of the fans’ frustrations at the team’s woeful showing and said: “You can always sense that, and it’s understandable from the fans. We know as players that we have to be better and, if we’re feeling that, the fans are going to be feeling that as well.”
But when it was put to Carter-Vickers that the key for the squad now was to stay calm and not panic, he continued: “Exactly that. You’ve got to try to take the emotion out of it as much as you can. Look at the football, analyse the game and try to improve. That’s all you can really do.
“The emotion is understandable. When you lose a game, that’s how we feel as players and that’s how the fans feel as well, but there is no point looking at a game in an emotional state. You’ve got to look at it clear-headed, stay as calm as you can and try to improve.
“We need to focus on our performance levels, and when they get better, the results will start coming.”
Hurt captain Callum McGregor called it one of his “one of the hardest days” of his Parkhead career as he pleaded for new signings in January. The skipper was crystal clear on the requirements as he said: “You have to freshen up the place.
“You lose five or six big players from last season, so you then have to go and replace that if you want to keep on being successful. You have to find a way to rejuvenate the team and find the next Jota, find the next crop of players that are going to go and make you successful.
“So, that’s a target for the club all the time and they are always looking. We’re missing the quality from last season and so we need to add to that. I think that’s obvious.”
Carter-Vickers knows those decisions are above his pay grade as he stated: “That’s down to the manager, really. Whatever he decides is what we go with, and we go from there.”
However, Carter-Vickers does have a clear opinion on the state of the title race. Celtic are still five points ahead, but with two games in hand,
nearest-challengers Rangers are firmly now on the tail of the champions. The off-colour leaders have dropped eight points in their last five games and Carter-Vickers said: “Of course I’m aware of it, but I’ve always said, it’s December.
“We had a lead that obviously now is disappearing, but at the end of the day, it’s still December. There are plenty of games to be played.
“You’ve got to take it on a game-by-game basis. If we were 10 points clear or 10 points behind at this stage, it would still be a case of keeping improving and winning as many games as possible.”
Olivia Martin is a dedicated sports journalist based in the UK. With a passion for various athletic disciplines, she covers everything from major league championships to local sports events, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis.