Rob Maclean: Celtic need defender, Rangers need time, Hamilton buoyant, Jags woe

Commentator Rob Maclean provides his take on another weekend of Scottish football action.

Defensive recruitment key to Celtic ambition

These last few days of the transfer window will decide what Celtic can achieve this season.

And I'm not talking about the return of fans' favourite Patrick Roberts for another loan spell from Manchester City even if he does add some welcome sparkle to their attacking options.

Brendan Rodgers doesn't need anyone to tell him that Celtic need at least one top quality central defender if his Champions League aspirations are to be realised.

Their domestic domination would be extended without any new defensive recruits. Dropped points, as happened against St Johnstone on Saturday, will continue to be a rarity.

But Celtic clearly need to strengthen at the back if they want to be playing European football beyond Christmas.

Caixinha's Rangers need more time

Pedro Caixinha has earned some breathing space with Sunday's badly-needed win for Rangers in Dingwall.

And I think he deserves more time to prove himself than his critics seem willing to allow the under-pressure gaffer.

There was a flurry of summer signings and some of those new players have made only cameo appearances so far. Others need a longer run of games to try to prove they're the real deal.

The two Mexican internationals, Eduardo Herrera and Carlos Pena, have started only one match between them. Herrera came off the bench to score the goal which sealed the 3-1 defeat of Ross County.

Only when all his acquisitions have been tried and tested will we know if Caixinha is the right man for Rangers.

Hamilton defying the doomsayers

Let's hear it for Hamilton. Eight goals and seven points from their last three Premiership games adds up to an incredible start for Accies.

After they'd lost home and away to Aberdeen, in the Premiership and League Cup, and those football forecasters who had Hamilton down as relegation certainties were wallowing in their own wisdom.

Of course, they might still be right. We've played only the first month of the season so it's a bit early to be jumping to conclusions.

But 3-0 against Dundee and 3-1 against Hibernian at Easter Road were remarkable results and Saturday's recovery from two goals down to pick up a point at Kilmarnock was equally impressive.

Spare a thought for Thistle

Pointless Partick Thistle must be wondering what they did to deserve their first four fixtures to kick off this Premiership season.

Their two home games have been against Scottish football's top two, Celtic and Aberdeen. They lost both by a single goal.

They could easily have picked up a point against the champions a couple of Fridays ago and, on Saturday, performed well against Aberdeen before going down 4-3.

Thistle's two away games have been at Easter Road and McDiarmid Park. Slick St Johnstone have made an unbeaten start and Hibs look strong on their return to the top level.

So, all in all, the Jags couldn't have had a much tougher start to the campaign and they'll look to bounce back after the international break.

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