THIRD TIME LUCKY is the message from Youssouf Mulumbu ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Perth to face St Johnstone. The former West From and Kilmarnock midfielder, who was Celtic’s man of the Match on Thursday evening, has started twice for the Scottish Champions – at Kilmarnock and Salzburg and has been left with the bitter taste of defeat each time.
Tomorrow he intends to end that miserable run as he is almost certain to start in the absence of skipper Scott Brown, who will sit this one out but be available after the (dreaded) international break.
“I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t won yet with Celtic – which is a bit embarrassing – but I’m just enjoying playing with the lads and, when the gaffer needs me, I have to be ready,” Mulumbu told the media at yesterday’s press conference.
“The fans have been brilliant and the club is amazing. The only thing that’s missing is winning because they’re used to winning all the time – until I signed!
“I don’t want to be a bad sign or bring the team bad luck but nobody has made that connection – yet! I’m just frustrated. I’m trying to do my best and hoping it comes soon. But there are no worries in the dressing room, no crises or stuff like that.
“We know what the trouble is and we know what we’re going to do. The quality of the players in the dressing room – no-one else has it in Scotland. We just need to fix those small details.
“When you’re used to winning, sometimes you forget about the details which can make the difference and, when you don’t do them, you don’t win. Once we fix those details and once we get our confidence back, everything’s going to be okay.”
While Mulumbu impressed on Thursday as Celtic were schooled by Salzburg, few of his teammates can take much credit from their night’s work.
“We’re a better team than we showed,” the 31 year of said. “We played out from the back a few times and got through our opponent but, with all the views we heard about Salzburg, I feel we respected them too much.
“When you score after five minutes and you have some chances to score the second we shouldn’t have dropped like that.
“The score definitely flattered them. Don’t get me wrong, they are a good team but we didn’t need to lose 3-1.
“If we had been braver on the ball we could have hurt them. I’m 100 per cent sure of that. Will we beat them in Glasgow? I think we will. I don’t think they will come with the same confidence because they know what Celtic is about.”
You have to admire his optimism! And there was more fighting talk for the midfielder as he insisted that Celtic will be collecting the trophies this season.
“Of course; if not, I’ll be in trouble!” Mulumbu said. “Seriously, for sure. We have to win and we will. Celtic are used to winning all the time but since I signed, I haven’t won a game.
“We sense (the flatness) and it’s a direct comparison to how the team has done in the last two seasons; if we don’t have those seasons before and we win the league then everybody will be happy.
“The most important thing is the final result and, if we win the league, we will be happy regardless if it is flat or not.
“We just need to win the league and that starts this Sunday by winning against St Johnstone.”
Also on The Celtic Star this morning…
‘When you lose the players, it will make a difference,’ Brendan’s message to the Board…READ HERE.
Jim Craig – Liam Brady resigned as Celtic manager…READ HERE.
And also well worth a read from last night…
Salzburg diary – the Sound of Celtic…READ HERE.