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Wednesday, November 10, 1999 Published at 12:11 GMT


Dalglish defends Parkhead slump

John Barnes (centre): Under fire after poor results

Kenny Dalglish has pleaded with the Parkhead faithful to give himself and head coach John Barnes more time to turn the club around.

On Sunday, Cetlic were defeated by Rangers at Ibrox, a result that followed a Uefa Cup exit to Lyon and a dismal home league defeat to a Motherwell side reduced to 10 men before half-time.

Those results have prompted criticism of both Barnes' tactics and Director of Football Dalglish's own contribution as an often silent partner in the much-vaunted double act who joined the club in the summer.

Now Dalglish has opted to speak out in defence of Barnes and has pleaded with the irate fans to be patient.

In Celtic's official club newspaper 'Celtic View', Dalglish is quoted as saying: "I don't think it's the right time for a knee-jerk reaction. There is no-one on the football staff who doesn't feel as disappointed as the fans do.

"I think people ought to remember what we said at the outset - it's not a here today, gone tomorrow thing. Success is not going to be there at the turn of a key.

"Eventually the fans will have what they want to see. There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves, we just have to roll our sleeves up and work even harder."

Dalglish has been angered by the criticism directed at his appointment of Barnes whose rigid 4-2-2-2 formation has led several observers to query whether he has the experience for the task.

"If anyone can guarantee a system that's going to work in every game and every minute of every match then we'll do it. The players are 100% committed and everyone is in it together," Dalglish said.

"John is new to the job, but that doesn't mean he cannot do the job. I've seen him handle the players, I've seen him talk to them. You speak to any of them and they'll tell you the dressing room spirit is great."





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