KELVIN Wilson is looking for Celtic to get their act together before the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville in Belfast next week.
After suffering narrow defeats by Ukrainian side Sevastopol and Romanian outfit Cluj, Celtic’s third loss of their pre-season tour of Germany and Austria on Tuesday night was their most comprehensive, a 6-2 thrashing by Greuther Furth in Bavaria.
New signings Virgil van Dijk and Amido Balde and trialist Steven Mouyokolo have been used in experimental line-ups by manager Neil Lennon, who is also having to juggle some injuries, but defender Wilson knows the performance against the lively second division German side should have been less disjointed.
Celtic’s final tour game is against FC Union Berlin tomorrow night and the Englishman is looking for improvement.
He told the club’s official website: “As a team we’ve got to do better. I know we’ve got loads of players out but with the boys that came in we’ve got to do better. The new boys have settled in really well as they are experienced players.
“Virgil is young, but he’s an experienced player as he’s played a lot of games and Steven has played down south for quite a few teams.
“They are both experienced players so it’s been pretty easy for them to settle in.
“It’s not easy but that’s what these games are used for.
“They are there to try different systems, try players in different positions and that’s what we did. So although the fans and the players won’t be happy with the result, it’s something you take on the chin in these situations.”
Lennon believes different challenges posed during pre-season will help his side prepare for the new season, a sentiment with which Wilson concurred.
He said: “That’s the exact thing for going into Europe – you want different challenges from different teams from different countries. That’s something we’ve done really well by arranging these games.
“We’d rather learn something in losing games and then get off to a flier in the league than win these games and then hit a brick wall when the season starts.”
Meanwhile, Hull City manager Steve Bruce does not anticipate making another attempt to sign Celtic striker Gary Hooper.
The Tigers were unsuccessful with a bid for the 25-year-old Englishman, reported to be in the region of £4.5 million, last month.
Burnley forward Charlie Austin had looked set to sign for the promoted club but a failed medical has scuppered the deal.
However, Bruce will not renew his interest in the former Scunthorpe striker who reportedly cost the Scottish champions £2.4m in 2010, and who has also been linked with QPR and Norwich.
“We had a bid for him rejected and I can’t see there being any change in that,” Bruce told BBC Radio Humberside.
“We’ve got other irons in the fire and we hope that we can get one or two strikers in before the start of the season.
“It’s obvious that we struggled to score goals last season, so that has got to be the aim for us.
“We’ve still got six weeks before the season starts and we’re actively looking.”