Gor­don: Col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity vi­tal to see us over line

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SPFL PREMIERSHIP - STE­WART FISHER

CRAIG GOR­DON said last night that it was time for Celtic to take col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity for get­ting over the Lad­brokes Premier­ship fin­ish­ing line. While the Scot­land goal­keeper in­sisted Ste­wart Mur­doch’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Ross County should have been dis­al­lowed for off­side, he also felt the Park­head side had only them­selves to blame for an­other un­der­whelm­ing home per­for­mance.

Vic­tory at Tynecas­tle this week­end would make the club’s fifth suc­ces­sive top-flight ti­tle all but an arith­meti­cal cer­tainty and Gor­don feels it is time they put on a united front — re­gard­less of the news that man­ager Ronny Deila will be leav­ing at the end of the sea­son.

“At least we know the sit­u­a­tion, we know what it is,” said Gor­don. “That does not make any dif­fer­ence when we go out on the park — we still have to do our jobs, stand up and be counted, and make sure we are do­ing it for the club. The man­ager is not go­ing to be here but the fans are go­ing to be here, the play­ers are go­ing to be here. We have to do it for each other and make sure we are do­ing enough to win games.”

While Gor­don was fu­ri­ous at the fail­ure of ref­eree Don Robert­son and his of­fi­ci­at­ing team to ob­serve County de­fender Chris Robert­son lurk­ing in his eye­line in an off­side po­si­tion, he said that the per­for­mance had pointed up a wider malaise. It was a theme Deila men­tioned when he said his play­ers must re­mem­ber to have fun in their re­main­ing four matches.

“It was off­side, it is as sim­ple as that,” said Gor­don. “The guy is stand­ing just the other side of the penalty spot and he ducks, so in­stead of a 25-yard shot it be­comes a 13-yard shot where I have not been able to see half the dis­tance it has trav­elled. The of­fi­cials have not no­ticed it or maybe they think I am not go­ing to save it any­way but I would have done and it should have been off­side.

“That is one in­stance but it is very dif­fi­cult for the of­fi­cials to see and pick up, so I do not want to come across as though I am blam­ing them for the re­sult be­cause we had plenty of chances. It was a dif­fi­cult week. We wanted to come out and put on a bet­ter show. I am moan­ing about the goal but we did not ex­actly do our­selves any favours.

“We prob­a­bly should have been more than one goal ahead but to­wards the end it ended up like a game of bas­ket­ball where nei­ther team re­ally had con­trol. The goal is a small part of it. We have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for our per­for­mance, and [yes­ter­day] again it was not as good as we would have wanted.”

The good news per­haps is that the league win could be se­cured on the road, where the at­mos­phere tends to be more pos­i­tive. “That is where we are,” Gor­don ad­mit­ted. “We prob­a­bly wanted more from the sea­son than where we are at the mo­ment and it is up to us over the last four games to get the job done and get to the sum­mer and make sure we have won the ti­tle and make sure we go again.”

Mur­doch, hardly a reg­u­lar scorer through­out his ca­reer, joked that Gor­don was per­haps amazed that he could strike the ball with such ac­cu­racy. He said that the re­sult, on the back of the High­landers’ League Cup win, only strength­ens Jim McIn­tyre’s case for be­ing named man­ager of the year. “We came here to frus­trate and we did that,” he said. “We could tell the crowd were get­ting frus­trated and we were happy with the way we played. We would have been hap­pier with the win but we will take the draw. There are dif­fer­ent goals at dif­fer­ent clubs but we have achieved ours so when it comes to man­age­rial prizes, our man­ager needs to be up there.”

It was off­side. The guy is stand­ing just the other side of the penalty spot and he ducks, so in­stead of a 25-yard shot it be­comes a 13-yard shot

Pic­ture: SNS

NO CHANCE: Craig Gor­don was well beaten by Ste­wart Mur­doch’s strike but says the goal should have been dis­al­lowed for off­side.

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