McDonald springs to Celtic's defence

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The Independent Football

Scott McDonald insists every single Celtic player must shoulder the responsibility for their poor results, not just the defenders.

Centre-halves Stephen McManus, Gary Caldwell and Glenn Loovens have been singled out for criticism in recent weeks, with manager Tony Mowbray even admitting he has yet to identify his favoured partnership.

The rearguard came under scrutiny after losing two early goals at Ibrox as Celtic slumped to defeat against Rangers in their last outing in the Scottish Premier League.

But striker McDonald insisted: "As a team, we are all in it together. We defend from the front first, as all good managers like to say. It's true. When the goals aren't coming, it's not just about the strikers. It's the same with not conceding goals.

"Yes, the back four will be looked at as the main people who will get the blame for it because that's their job. But, the way we see it as players, we all have to do something to stop this happening, not just two or three of the players."

McDonald believes no-one at Celtic is dwelling on the Old Firm defeat as they prepare to welcome Motherwell to Celtic Park today. "It's forgotten about now. We are still in a good position and we've really got to try and move on and win the next game and go from strength to strength from here."

Meanwhile the Rangers manager Walter Smith has urged his players to pick up where they left off after their win over Celtic. They face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park at lunch-time and Smith now wants a run of victories following a spell of goalless draws which have resulted in them slipping behind Celtic in the title race.

He said: "Building momentum becomes important because beforehand we had three draws. I would hope that winning the Old Firm game would give us a bit of a lift to go on and start getting consistency in the league.

"We need a consistency in performance and we've not really had that. We need to start a run of wins."

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