Ange Postecoglou’s first few months in the Celtic hot seat have not been easy for him at Parkhead.
He had to ride a wave of negativity towards the board when he first arrived to coach the Hoops but the difficulty has only increased.
Celtic had a positive transfer window by bringing in 12 first-team players but Dominic McKay has now left and they also lost their Europa League group stage opener in a pretty disastrous fashion.
Their league form – failing to win on the road – has also seen them record their worst start to a season for 23 years.
Fortunately, the Bhoys will return to Paradise on Sunday afternoon when they face Dundee United.
They have been exceptional at home, especially in forward areas, so Postecoglou will be hoping to revive some positivity.
Sadly, the manager will have to do so without a number of their key players.
Speaking before the match, the Australian confirmed that none of his injured players would return for the match in what is a seismic setback.
He said: “With Cal (McGregor) next Thursday is being optimistic.
“With Kyogo, I doubt we will see him this side of the international window but he is pushing hard.
“Unfortunately, Mikey Johnston picked up a niggle on Wednesday so he will be out and I’m not sure when he will be back.
“To cut a long story short, we won’t get anybody back for Sunday.”
Greg Taylor is also missing for a number of months after undergoing shoulder surgery while James Forrest continues to be absent from the side. Giorgos Giakoumakis also picked up a problem in the warm-up before Raith Rovers too.
This Celtic team seems to be dropping like flies at the moment and if they are to find form, they will need these players back and firing swiftly.
Furuhashi has been a huge loss and without his goals (seven in nine), the Hoops look a shadow of the team that started so vibrantly under the new boss.
However, the biggest loss has arguably been McGregor. Besides being the skipper, his performances have been titanic in 2021/22 compared to the likes of Ismaila Soro and James McCarthy.
The former was nearly sent off during their defeat to Betis while McCarthy was ridiculed by supporters after a woeful showing against Livi a week ago.
With that in mind, Postecoglou will be gutted that he can’t call on the club’s captain or their top scorer this weekend. The Hoops may well struggle again when they face Dundee United on Sunday afternoon.