Mowbray: Defending is a communal responsibility

20 February 2010 11:49
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray has every confidence that young centre-backs Josh Thompson and Thomas Rogne will go on to make their mark in the game but he realises that to play both of them together at this stage of their careers would probably be folly. Andreas Hinkel returns to action todayWith a trip to Ibrox looming on the horizon it's vitally important that Celtic take all three points from today's game against Dundee United. There's no doubt that Mowbray's side are capable of scoring goals against the Arabs today, even without the guile of the suspended Aiden McGeady, but the continuing absence of Glenn Loovens and Jos Hooiveld, his first choice players at the heart of the defence, is a major concern for the boss. Josh Thompson is likely to start but the manager thinks that both Thompson and Thomas Rogne need mentoring at this fledgling stage and he is likely to draft one of his full backs into the centre-back role."The individuals in the side at the moment don't bring experience." said Mowbray. "They don't have the understanding at times of where to stand and when to hold the line, when to clear it. They are young guys who are going to be very, very good footballers. They are on a steep learning curve at the moment, but it will be invaluable to them in the future, I'm sure. You only get experience by playing."Although the focus is on the back line the manager believes that the whole team, and not solely the defenders, were to blame for the loss of those two late goals, and two valuable points, at Pittodrie last week. "Look at some of the goals last weekend." he said. "They were set-plays, so it's not just the defence, it's generally defending as a team that we have to do. As a side we have to show better concentration for things like second balls. If you break the goals down last week, it wasn't necessarily a central defender not doing his job, a couple of the players were not alive enough to the secondary period when the ball came back into the box.""So it's a collective thing." he continued. "Yes, we should have won the game at Aberdeen and if we had then won against United off the back of that, we would have gone into the game at Ibrox in a pretty confident mood. We should've seen out the game at Pittordie and won it quite comfortably, so a potential positive turns into a negative, but they are fine. If we win the game against United then we'll go into the Rangers game in a confident mood. I think the players know that we can score goals and enjoy lots of possession and get into goalscoring areas.""We can give other teams problems." said Mowbray. "In an ideal world we would have more experienced players playing in the defensive areas but we'll keep going the way we are at the moment and if things conspire to go our way we'll create the opportunities to win the football match. We also understand from the game against United at Tannadice that they've got an obvious threat from set plays. They have got big physical players."Celtic (from): Boruc, Braafheid, Hinkel, Rogne, Caddis, Thompson, Scott Brown, NGuemo, Ki, Kamara, Fortune, Rasmussen, Keane, Samaras, Naylor, Wilson, Zhi, Zaluska, McGinn.Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dods, Kenneth, Mihadjuks, Hill, Webster, Kovacevic, Dillon, Buaben, Gomis, D Robertson, Swanson, Conway, Shala, Myrie-Williams, Daly, Goodwillie, Casalinuovo, Banks.