Nir Bitton promises Celtic will cut out mistakes
NIR Bitton insists Celtic will work on the sloppiness that cost them two Ladbrokes Premiership points against bottom side Kilmarnock last night.
Hoops striker Leigh Griffiths opened the scoring in the second minute at Rugby Park but the visitors missed a series of chances before Killie striker Josh Magennis levelled just before the break.
Bitton’s wonderful 30-yard strike restored the champions’ lead and it looked like the points were heading back to Glasgow until four minutes from the end, when the home side were awarded a spot-kick.
And after Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre brought down Greg Kiltie inside the box, Kallum Higginbotham cheekily dinked the ball over Craig Gordon for a 2-2 draw and Killie’s first point of the season.
The result also meant the Parkhead side finished the night two points behind leaders Hearts, as Celtic move closer to the Champions League play-off against Swedish side Malmo.
Parkhead boss Ronny Deila described Celtic’s defending as sloppy and lamented the missed chances, a view with which Bitton concurred.
“We were sloppy, we need to work on it and we will work on it,” he said. “We didn’t play smart, we didn’t play quick.
“We should have kept the ball and let Kilmarnock run after it, we didn’t do it and when you don’t do it you concede and that’s what happened.
“We created a lot of chances and we missed a lot of chances and their goalie had a great day. I am just disappointed.
“It was a great goal but it doesn’t matter if we lose points.
“We should have finished the game but that’s what happens when you miss chances.”
Kilmarnock boss Gary Locke was glad to get a first point on the board after two defeats.
The Rugby Park boss, who revealed winger Chris Johnston is out for up to nine months with a cruciate ligament injury sustained in training on Tuesday, was glad there was no repeat of the apology he had to make after the 4-0 home defeat to Dundee on the opening day of the season.
He said: “I was glad that we turned up. I brought a number of players to the club and the last time at home we didn’t turn up.
“I had to apologise to the fans but thankfully I didn’t have to do that this time.
“I felt we showed the qualities we have got and hopefully that will give players belief to go on and have a good season.”