Ex-Celtic defender Johan Mjallby believes the current backline at Parkhead is a work in progress, but feels they are improving and there are positive signs.
Neil Lennon’s team have played 19 competitive games across all competitions so far this campaign and conceded 15 goals in that time.
There has been a variety of different combinations in the backline that has made it difficult for players to settle, but they may have had their strongest on show on Thursday night during the 2-0 Europa League group stage win against CFR Cluj.
Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien started as the centre-back pairing, with Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli in the full-back areas.
That back four also started in the 1-1 away draw against Rennes in the first Europa League group match, but the defence is not yet permanently fixed.
Mjallby praised the defence after the win over Cluj and feels it’s important to recognise that new faces will take time.
Ajer is the only one of Thursday’s back four that was at the club last season, with the other three all moving to Parkhead in the summer.
“You can definitely see they (Celtic’s defence) are getting used to each other and sometimes we are too early to press the panic button,” Mjallby told BT Sport 3 (3 October).
“Foreigners they need time to adapt not only to the style of football, but to the surroundings as well.”
It looks like Lennon may have stumbled across his back four, but whether that same combination will start away to Livingston on Sunday remains to be seen.
It’s a strong sign that there are so many options in the squad competing for positions and Greg Taylor is another player yet to come back from injury.
But ultimately it would be better in the long run if the same back four can play a run of consecutive games together and it will make them such a stronger unit.
There has been some individual errors at the back already this season, but the team looked far more organised against Cluj and should only improve.