I’m not making excuses for what happened in Denmark in midweek.
But European football should not be the main focus for Celtic in the coming weeks and months.
Yes, it would be great for financial reasons and for experience for Ange Postecoglou and his players to at least have Europa League football between September and December.
However, their priority has to be on the domestic front, and Celtic simply must do better than last season.
They can’t finish 25 points behind Rangers again.
They must show significant signs of improvement and they need to push Steven Gerrard’s men all the way.
I wrote last week that if Celtic were knocked out by FC Midtjylland, it wouldn’t be on Ange.
I stand by that. The new manager is still finding his feet, and needs time.
But if the manager is being given a free pass on that one, he knows there won’t be many more left to hand out.
Recruitment will be a massive part of it all, and there is still a need to bring in three or four players.
In the next few weeks, it may be that they need to bring in five or six new faces if one or two current first-team players are sold.
Postecoglou’s post-match comments last Wednesday night were interpreted as being a verbal volley towards the Celtic hierarchy.
On the need to bring in new players to improve the starting line-up and the overall squad, Ange said: “I obviously haven’t done a good enough job convincing people we needed to bring people in.”
He never ducked the question, and also stated, quite clearly, that he believes it’s his responsibility to do better on the recruitment front.
But Ange alone cannot fix all the issues and problems Celtic have at this moment.
New chief executive, Dom McKay, also can’t do it all on his own. Likewise, the scouting department can’t be held solely accountable.
They all need to pull together, and give their absolute maximum in addressing what needs to be fixed at Celtic Park.
Doing this collectively will give them a much better chance of succeeding.
It’s too big a job for one man to take all on his own shoulders.
Everyone pulling in the same direction is exactly the way it will need to be if Celtic are to make progress, and put in a serious challenge to Rangers in the Premiership title race.
I get that everyone will be raw and still hurting from the defeat in Denmark.
The fans are far from happy, and their frustration on top of what they endured last season is understandable.
But it was always going to be a huge ask to win against Midtjylland when they had two kids – 21-year-old Stephen Welsh and Dane Murray, three years his junior – at the heart of their defence.
Stephen and Dane are capable young footballers – but they also lack experience.
They will more than likely have long careers at Celtic, but, right now, the first team needs seasoned operators for the campaign.
The goalkeeping situation is another issue to be resolved.
But regardless of the personnel, it was always going to be a tall order for the Hoops to get through the pathway set out by UEFA to get into the Champions League.
Had they beaten Midtjylland, they would have faced PSV Eindhoven.
The Dutch side’s 7-2 aggregate win over Galatasaray showed they are in terrific form, and would have been a formidable obstacle.
Celtic had chances in both legs against Midtjylland to achieve a different outcome.
That showed the fine margins that exist in every game. You also need to carry that wee bit of luck.
At the moment, it just appears to be that it never rains but it pours for Celtic.
Indeed, it tends to come in floods, and feels as though they have been swimming against the tide for months.
They have put their faith in Ange to reverse the flow, but they need to add to the squad further – sooner rather than later.
Right now, the European glory nights – like beating Barcelona at Celtic Park in 2012 – seem a million years ago.
They went on to play Juventus in the last-16 of the Champions League that season.
And it was only two years ago they topped their Europa League section that contained Lazio and Rennes.
The positive thing for Ange is that the club is in good financial health, and there are funds for him to use.
They have already spent significant sums on Carl Starfelt, Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abade.
Of course, the key is recruiting wisely, and there are never any guarantees.
At least it also looks as though Ange is getting to choose his own players, and that is always good for any manager to be able to do that.
The transfer window usually hots up during August.
So it will be very interesting to see the quality of the Celtic squad come September 1.
All eyes will be on how that turns out.
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