Despite the fact Celtic dropped more points in the midweek league clash with Livingston, John Hartson decided to pick out defender Kristoffer Ajer as one huge positive.
Neil Lennon’s side could only a manage 2-2 draw away to Livingston, as their slim hopes of defending the title for a 10th consecutive season took yet another significant dent.
Mohamed Elyounoussi and Nir Bitton cancelled out an early Ciaron Brown goal to give Celtic a 2-1 advantage at half-time.
But Jay Emmanuel-Thomas netted on the hour mark for the hosts to earn them a well-deserved point.
The Hoops remain second in the league and are 20 points behind leaders Rangers, albeit they’ve played two games less.
Hartson felt that Celtic star Ajer deserved some praise at a time when the team is under-fire.
The 22-year-old centre-back showed his versatility by playing right-back against Livingston and he caught the eye with his energetic display up and down the pitch.
“If you were going to pick a captain, you’d have to give it to Ajer at the minute because he’s instrumental the way that he’s playing,” Hartson said on The Celtic Exchange Podcast.
“He’s grabbing the bull by the horns. He’s almost dragging the team through even to these draws.
You see him make these lung-bursting runs forward. He’s marauding with that big stride. He’s challenging. He’s on his backside. He’s making blocks. He’s in the opposition’s penalty area. He’s right-back, he’s centre-half, he never moans. He just gets on with it.
“He’s a credit to the rest of the players. They should all look at him, and I’m telling you, if they all adapted the same attitude as Ajer, then they might have made a bit of a fist of it in terms of holding onto the title.”
There are a lack of leaders on the pitch for Celtic right now.
It looks like the reigning Scottish champions intend on handing the title over to Rangers with a bow on it.
Three consecutive draws in the league has not been a good enough response to the 1-0 defeat in the Old Firm and it’s difficult to see how they move forward from this tricky situation.
Ajer is one positive like Hartson mentions, who should be part of a new-look side moving forward.