CELTIC manager Ronny Deila has urged John Guidetti not to be so hard on himself as the Swedish striker endures a slump in form.
Having scored nine goals in his first nine games for the Scottish champions, Guidetti has netted just twice in his last six appearances.
The on-loan Manchester City player cut a deeply frustrated figure yesterday as he missed out in front of goal again in Celtic’s 4-1 home win over St Mirren, which took them six points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership.
Guidetti angrily lashed out at a post with his right foot after missing an especially simple chance at the end of the first half and had to be calmed down by team-mates as he left the pitch for the interval.
The 22-year-old, who has now fired blanks in his last three games for Celtic, then limped off with an ankle injury after an hour.
“I think John’s spirits are too high,” said Deila. “That’s the problem. He needs to calm down. He does a lot of thinking but you can’t do anything about results unless you do something about the process and the performance.
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“It’s about the next move, instead of thinking ‘I have to score’ or ‘I have to win’. He is very up about scoring goals and you can see his frustrations.
“But I also see positive things. John could have had four assists in the first half and got one, a great touch and pass for James Forrest to score. Sure, he missed chances, but so did Stefan Scepovic when he came on and Stefan Johansen also missed three or four.
“I can’t sit here and be too critical when we have won 4-1 and could have ended up winning by ten. That shows the potential of the team.”
Deila is anxiously awaiting news on Guidetti’s injury as Celtic approach the January transfer window when they hope to secure a permanent deal for the player.
“Hopefully he’s going to be okay,” added Deila. “The medical people checked him and have said they think it’s just a kick, but you never know with these things.
“We will need to see from the pictures of the scan. We don’t know if it’s a twist of just the impact of a hard tackle.”
Deila had positive news on Forrest after the Scotland winger, troubled so long by a variety of injuries and illnesses, failed to re-appear for the second half. “James had a migraine,” revealed Deila.
“He hasn’t had that before but didn’t feel well at half-time so we didn’t want to take any chances.
“In the first half it was very positive from him. He tucked in defensively, showed good reactions to win the ball and worked back for the team. He also showed what he can do going forward and scored a nice goal.
“So we didn’t take him off because of his performance or an injury. It was because he had a bad headache.
“Overall, it was a good win and an important win for us. We are six points ahead now, so I’m very satisfied.
“We kept possession, created chances and scored good goals. We are creating a lot of chances and that’s the positive thing. But again, I was thinking ‘is it enough, should we be scoring more goals?’ That is something we have to work on if we are going to improve. We need to be more clinical.”
Despite a defeat which leaves St Mirren at the bottom of the Premiership, interim manager Gary Teale remains hopeful of landing the position on a permanent basis following last week’s dismissal of Tommy Craig.
“I’ve loved every minute of it this week and it’s whetted my appetite for the job,” said Teale. “If I was offered the job, I’d be over the moon to accept it.
“I’ve had no indication yet if I will be in charge next week but I’m sitting here as if I will be in charge and I know what I want to do. It’s a huge game for us at home to Motherwell, a must-win game as far as I’m concerned.”
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