For Celtic, Backing This Manager Is Not Optional. It Is Critical.

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The transfer business needs to ramp up this week and there needs to be a sense of realism returned to the process at the same time.

The attempt to sign Hickey looks futile and overly expensive.

His club has just signed him.

They don’t want to part with him, so persisting on this when we could move to other targets – like the Dutch fullback at Zwolle – would be stupid.

The pursuit of a right back won’t result in us spending £8 million on George Baldock.

These stories seem designed to do nothing more than give off the appearance of action.

The truth is that it’s July and Celtic, in a pre-season of great need, has spent nothing yet and has brought in two youth players on frees.

We still face the loss of three first team stars.

All three travelled with the squad to Wales.

The manager gets to make these calls, but it’s ludicrous to expect that he can build a team whilst these three remain on the books. We can’t control what offers come in, but we can make moves in the meantime to get some of his own footballers in place.

I have heard a lot of talk about this being a “transitional” season, which in many ways is what it is. But that’s not going to save people if it’s an unsuccessful one. Let’s be clear, just in case McKay and Ange think that anything less will do; fans aren’t interested in seeing “progress” made here. The only progress that matters is winning back the title.

What else does “progress” mean? Closing the gap?

By how much?

If it closes by half that’s a double digit loss and nowhere near good enough.

If the board believes it can drag its feet and not back the manager they have brought in they better think again.

Fans haven’t paid good money to watch a transitional team built on the cheap.

This Celtic squad had better be up to snuff long before this campaign starts in earnest.

McKay is getting an easy ride of it because he’s just in the door.

But he’s not there to warm Peter Lawwell’s old seat and run things in the same old fly-by-night manner in which his predecessor did. This guy needs to deliver, and deliver big.

This is a massive week for this club. Massive.

Signings need to be delivered. Money needs to be spent.

Too much time has already been squandered; if we send this current squad into that Champions League qualifier we’re hanging the manager out to dry and if that happens this board will find the temperature under them turned up to full.

The manager is travelling to Wales with a squad that isn’t his own yet, nor one even halfway to where we need it to be.

He has his responsibilities.

Those above him at Celtic Park have theirs.

The close season was a shambles.

This is pre-season now.

This is the time for others at Celtic to start upping their game.

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