'I won't tell you what I'd be saying to him' - Willie Miller singles out 'slack' Celtic player in win v Aberdeen

Willie Miller has criticised Celtic defender Nir Bitton for his “slack” performance in the Hoops’ Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen on Sunday afternoon.
Nir Bitton, Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Nir Bitton, Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Nir Bitton, Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

First half goals from Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi were enough to ensure that Neil Lennon’s side comfortably booked a place in the final alongside Hearts, as well as bringing to an end their recent four-game run without a win.

Despite their early dominance, however, the Bhoys’ were guilty of a number of sloppy moments after the interval, and may well have been punished for their lapsed concentration were it not for an underwhelming attacking display from the Dons.

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Speaking on BBC Sportsound after the match, Miller was quick to point out how important it is that Celtic don’t fall into bad habits, and in particular, singled out Bitton for a handful of disappointing incidents.

"If I was playing beside Nir Bitton, I won’t tell you what I’d be saying to him, or where I would have him in the dressing room just now,” said the former Scotland international.

"It was so slack on three occasions in particular. I know he’s that type of player, and he is a very good player, but when the opposition start to do that, start to go slack, the passes start to go astray, that gives you a lift. It gives you hope.

"Aberdeen had basically no hope at half-time because they were totally outplayed by Celtic. Celtic were in total control, came out the second half, they let their own high standards drop a little bit. They go a bit slack for numerous reasons, whether it’s mental or physical – and more than likely it is physical because they have had a really difficult time with a load of games wracking up for them.

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"You’ve got to factor that in for them, but at the same time, maybe Scott Brown should have been bossing them a little bit to say ‘hey, don’t give this team a chance’, because I tell you, when you get into that groove, if the opposition score, it’s then really difficult to lift your game again.”