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Celtic: Anthony Ralston let Postecoglou down in UCL qualifying

Ange Postecoglou only had a matter of weeks to fine-tune his Celtic side before they faced their first competitive match on Tuesday night.

Their fortunes in pre-season have been mixed but due to a host of injury and fitness concerns, the Hoops are already down to the bare bones.

That said, without the likes of James Forrest and co, they still came away with a 1-1 draw in the first-leg of their Champions League qualifying clash with Midtjylland.

Celtic started brightly and found the net through 19-year-old debutant Liel Abada.

However, in typical circumstances, the Bhoys were masters of their own downfall.

Nir Bitton was given his marching orders after being sent off in the first half while on a rare competitive outing for Vasilis Barkas, he didn’t cover himself in glory either.

Is Ralston good enough for Celtic?

No chance!

No chance!

Of course!

Of course!

The visitors fired back through a free-kick which the Greek stopper really needed to do better with.

However, one player who was just as bad as the pair of them was right-back, Anthony Ralston. In short, his performance provided plenty of evidence as to why Postecoglou has targeted new full-backs this summer.

That area has a problem position ever since he walked into the club with Jeremie Frimpong’s January departure leaving them short.

Deals for Brandon Soppy, George Baldock and Aurelio Buta have all been touted but they’re yet to conclude any moves in that third of the pitch.

Yet, after Ralston’s display on Tuesday night, his position has become of even greater concern.

Defensively the full-back wasn’t so bad. He won two of his three aerial duels and battled well against Midtjylland’s offensive players.

Though, it was when he started to go forward or received the ball to feet that he looked abject and out of his depth.

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Guess the shirt numbers from Celtic's famous 2002/03 UEFA Cup side. Let's start with Mohammed Sylla...

Ralston lost possession a whopping 19 times during the encounter, the worst number ahead of Greg Taylor (18) in the Hoops side.

Furthermore, he failed to provide any key passes and was successful with just one of his four crosses on the night.

If Postecoglou’s attacking and short passing system is going to flourish at Paradise, they’ll need a right-back with better offensive qualities than Ralston.

The fact he started such an important game on Tuesday goes to show how the Neil Lennon era is still causing issues for Celtic.

The £5.5k-per-week earner only played one game for the Bhoys last term, a tally he’s already equalled. It surely won’t be long before the club brings in a player to replace him.

AND in other news, Celtic could find their new Christie by signing 44-goal gem with the “style of Robben”…

Article title: Celtic: Anthony Ralston let Postecoglou down in UCL qualifying

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