Celtic Goalkeeper Joe Hart believes Livingston thoroughly deserved their shock 1-0 win at the Toni Macaroni Arena on Sunday after Andrew Shinnie’s first-half strike meant Celtic’s Almondvale hoodoo continued with their last victory in Livingston stretching all the way back to 4th February 2007.
He said: “I thought Livingston done great, we didn’t. They took their goal really well. We had a lot of possession, I just don’t think we penetrated enough. It was a tough game for us, we didn’t take our few chances when they came and got punished by a good goal.
“It’s a tough one to take, it is, because we’re all trying to do something for this club. We had three-quarters of the stadium here for an away game, I’ve never seen that in my life. It’s a great occasion to play in, it’s a huge club to play for and it’s not through lack of effort, I think that’s clear, it’s just application on the day. One of the reasons we love Football is because of results like today where we didn’t take our chances and Livingston took theirs well.
Sunday’s defeat saw Celtic pick up the worst start to a Premiership season in 20 years, winless in the Premiership away from Home since February.
“They’re facts that we’ve got to deal with. We’re not winning away from home but we’re trying to build something. We’re trying to build what the manager wants from us and what we want. We are all buying into it and on the same page and we’re going to keep pushing. It’s the start of the season but we can’t really afford too many of these, if any”.
“I can’t speak for the past, I can only speak for today’s game and I thought Livingston played well. Like I said they took their chance and we didn’t”.
With the Final whistle blown, Celtic’s players headed straight for the tunnel. Captain, Joe Hart took it upon himself to approach the away support, waving his hands as a gesture of sorrow.
“I don’t think they expect an apology. We are one, I’m really feeling that at this club. I feel that we, more than most, represent them and they represent us. They showed up today and we didn’t quite bring what they brought to the table. I think you need to acknowledge that. Yeah, I think if you’re going to do something as a team in the season you need to acknowledge the tougher moments and you’ve got to stick together”.
“Look there’s no excuses. We know what our job is. We know where we stand in this league. You can ask for time and then you can also see we’ve rocked up for an away game with three quarters of the support so there’s plenty of things in our favour.”
Questioned whether this result can be a learning curve to find it out ways of success at the club, Hart believes the Hoops are well educated in what it takes to make the turnaround.
“That’s any team throughout the world. We know that. We’re not under any illusions that we can just turn up and can play nice football, full-backs on the inside etc, that doesn’t guarantee you a win. It was just one of those days where we couldn’t find the right chance and like I said Livi took there’s. It would be easy for me to stand here and say if we score it’s a different game, it’s a different atmosphere but we didn’t so they’re facts. Playing nice football? Yes, we want to do that but we want to do that for a reason because we’re trying to win the game.”
Social media stirs in recent weeks have called out players of the club for using the cliché of the club being ‘a working progress’.
“You haven’t heard that from me, I’m not saying that so I can’t comment. I’m saying we’re here to try and win for Celtic, for each other, for the manager and for the fans.”
The two-time Premier League winner understands the mentality needed after a poor result and explained that Celtic will take fixtures one game at a time.
“We look to Raith on Thursday. It’s a big opportunity for us and it’s a huge cup game. We’re in the Quarter-final so that’s the only way you can go. Spectators and fans they’re allowed to look two, three games ahead. They’re allowed to look at the repercussions of what this result can do come the end of the season but we can’t. We live every single game as it is. We lived Thursday night as it was and lived today’s as it was. We’ll put this to bed, however, we’re going to analyse it as a team and then we’ll look to go again, Thursday.”