Tales of dressing room unrest and clear the air meetings have emerged from Celtic Park after a stuttering start to the season under new manager Tony Mowbray but Barry Robson revealed that boss Mowbray has meetings with the players three or four times a week as they strive to get the team firing on all cylinders. Gordon Strachan this week defended the quality of the squad he'd bequeathed to Mowbray and Robson insists that the present manager shares Strachan's view that there are some great footballers at the club.
"I think there is quality here." said Robson. "We speak to the manager every day and he likes the players and the quality here. Maybe he was misunderstood in the press. I'd rather take him at face value than read comments in a newspaper. We have meetings here all the time, three or four a week, about various things. When he talks to us in here he is happy with the quality and, like every other manager, wants to improve the team."
The whistle at the end of the Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat by Hearts in midweek brought a crescendo of boos from the support but Robson believes that it was a sign of frustration. Despite dominating the match the team once more failed to turn that superiority into goals and Barry believes that the whole team are culpable. "I thought Hearts counter-attacked well but the way we performed was good, especially in the second half when we could have scored a few goals and won comfortably." said Celtic's number 19. "You can't just blame the strikers. Defenders and midfielders need to chip in with more. It's not something we're worrying about but it will come and we're working on it as a team. If you know Scotty and Sami, you know they don't have a confidence crisis. But it's not just up to them. I'm a great believer that everyone should chip in for goals."
The flame haired midfielder has no doubts at all that this side will get better and better under Tony Mowbray. "It's about how we improve individually and collectively and what enjoyment we are getting out of the manager's philosophy." he said. "I really believe we will become a right good outfit as the season goes on. We're only nine games into the league. He is assessing everything and everybody at the club and we are not too far from clicking. We've played well and if we score a few goals we'll be all right."
"We're still top of the SPL." he added. "I think people have forgotten that. We played Hamburg and their third-choice striker cost £15m. They had two shots at goal, scored with one and hit the bar with the other. People are getting away from the fact of just how good these teams are. In the league we could have been better but we are performing all right. The manager has just arrived and needs to try to work his magic and see what Europe is all about. We have three Europa League group games to go and if we win them we will qualify. I think we can do that. Tony Mowbray is very clever about the game. With a bit of luck in Europe we could be a wee bit further along."