Collins defends Mowbray's Celtic squad changes

Former Celtic midfielder John Collins admits Tony Mowbray's “chopping and changing” is impacting on the club's performances — but he insists the Parkhead manager has no option.

Mowbray has used 27 players in his first three months in charge and made a total of 24 changes to his starting line-up in the past seven matches, only two of which Celtic won.

Collins admits the situation is far from ideal but he insists every other boss would do the same in their formative months in charge.

“Any new manager that goes to a new club has got to assess all of his players, try them in different positions and combinations,” the former Scotland player said.

“So it's only natural that he has been doing that. There is no manager going to come into a new team and pick 11 players and stick with them. Tony is only doing what any other manager anywhere in the world would do — trying out every player before he makes decisions come January and the end of the season on who he wants to keep and who he wants to move on.

“It's never an ideal situation when you are chopping and changing, you don't get a lot of continuity. But when you go to a new club, that's what you have got to do.”

It appears a large proportion of those players still need to convince Mowbray they should stay at the club.

The Celtic manager questioned the quality of his squad following the 1-0 home defeat by Hamburg, which left the Hoops adrift at the bottom of their Europa League section.

The former West Brom manager indicated there would be changes in January and Collins said: “I think he was stating the obvious to anyone that watched the match,” said Collins, who was at Hampden yesterday to promote ESPN's live coverage of the return match in Germany on Thursday evening.

“I don't think he was criticising his players. He was stating a fact on that given night.”

Sourced from: The Belfast Telegraph