Gordon: Collective responsibility vital to see us over line
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
NO CHANCE: Craig Gordon was well beaten by Stewart Murdoch’s strike but says the goal should have been disallowed for offside.