Tony Mowbray has warned Celtic fans that it will take time to fashion his own side at Parkhead after watching his men come up short in their Champions League defeat by Dynamo Moscow.
The Hoops went in to the first leg of the third qualifying round at Celtic Park on Wednesday unbeaten in four pre-season friendlies, which encouraged 55,000 to make their way to the east end of Glasgow. However, Mowbray's first competitive game since taking over from Gordon Strachan brought a dampening of expectations when Alexander Kokorin's seventh-minute strike proved to be enough to give the Muscovites the advantage ahead of next week's return leg.
Former West Bromwich Albion manager Mowbray, who gave competitive starting debuts to new signings Landry N'Guemo and Marc-Antoine Fortune – with Danny Fox coming on as a second half-substitute – could do little more than remain defiant. However, it would take an unlikely win in Moscow on Wednesday to prevent his side from dropping into the Europa League qualifiers.
Mowbray said: "It's a building process. I've said from day one, you can't expect to go out and buy six or seven players and change everything and expect it all to click in to place. You build as you go along. It will take time to add a player here and there and to move a player on. I would like to think that in the next two or three transfer windows [we will have] built a team that will have changes from the team that you have seen against Dynamo.
"We all get judged on results. We won three and drew one in pre-season and, wow, wasn't it great? And, all of a sudden, it comes to a Champions League game. But I'd like to think my own philosophy is not to get too high or too low. I'm not in the doldrums and I've never been on a mountain thinking we're kings of the world. We are working hard to try and build a team that is trying to be successful and that process continues five games in."
Mowbray may find help around the corner in the midfield duo of Scott Brown and Barry Robson, who are set to feature for the first time this season against Sunderland in tomorrow's friendly at Celtic Park after recovering from respective ankle and groin injuries.
"There are few days training yet to come," Mowbray said. "But if they come through OK, are feeling fine and not complaining of anything then there is a fair chance they will find some involvement at the weekend."Reuse content