- Celtic News
- News Archive
- League Table
- Scottish Premier Division News
Hooiveld: Things can only get better
Published : 05 Aug 2010 17:13:00
Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld has assured supporters the new-look team will continue to improve once they get to know each other. Celtic fell at the first hurdle in the Champions League as a 2-1 victory over Sporting Braga last night failed to stop them dropping into the Europa League play-offs. Paulo Cesar added to Braga's three-goal lead midway through the first half as Celtic's back four lost another sloppy goal, the wide man running across Cha Du-ri to head home. Celtic have now lost nine goals in four matches but Lennon was encouraged by their latest comeback as they repeated their feat of netting two goals in the second half following the weekend's Emirates Cup. Hooiveld only played two matches last season following his January move from AIK, while fellow defenders Cha and Charlie Mulgrew were among Lennon's seven summer signings. The team to face Braga also featured summer signings Gary Hooper and Efrain Juarez, who both scored, plus Daryl Murphy and Joe Ledley. And Hooiveld insists there are plenty of signs to suggest Celtic will get better ahead of their SPL opener at Inverness on August 14. "I think we can only improve," the 27-year-old said. "With every game you can see improvement. "The first game against Philadelphia was far below Celtic's standards. Slowly but surely we are building up the Celtic standards." Hooiveld added: "The team spirit is good but it's not automatic at the moment - knowing when the guy wants the ball or wants to come in, is he turning left or dropping off? That's not there yet. "We have to practise that and we haven't had many times to practise with the whole group. After the Braga game we only had one training session with the whole group. "If we get in a rhythm, that can grow grow. I can't wait to get in a rhythm with this squad." Hooiveld felt the second leg was a natural progression from the Emirates Cup, when Celtic drew 2-2 with Lyon before pushing Arsenal towards the end of their 3-2 defeat by the hosts. "We did well against Lyon and Arsenal but we also lost easy goals and you could see not everyone was used to each other," the Dutchman said. "But you could also see a lot of potential and that can grow a lot, especially up front. We have a huge amount of quality and it just has to fall into place. "I think the fans see there are a lot of new faces in the team. They supported us greatly last night. As long as they are behind us the improvement will be faster." Lennon admitted he would ideally like to sign two new defenders before the SPL season, and Hooiveld can understand his manager's concerns. "We are there to prevent goals and so far we haven't done our jobs so well," he said. "But it's true that we need games with each other to know what each other's strengths are."