John Kennedy refuses to panic despite Celtic's Old Firm defeat before winter break
John Kennedy: "We didn't perform on the day but putting that in perspective for the first half of the season, so far it has been fantastic"
Last Updated: 05/01/20 5:48pm
Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy has rejected suggestions rivals Rangers have 'worked them out'.
The Hoops were outplayed for large parts of the Scottish League Cup final, despite Neil Lennon's side winning 1-0 at Hampden Park, with Rangers then beating them 2-1 in the league at Celtic Park before the winter break.
That result leaves the Gers just two points behind Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand.
But speaking to Sky Sports News at their mid-season training camp in Dubai, Kennedy has insisted Celtic will put the Old Firm defeat in perspective and focus on returning to winning ways when they face Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup on January 18.
"We just couldn't get our front players into the game well enough, we couldn't penetrate them well enough, we didn't move the ball quickly enough, so there's a number of areas we know we can improve upon," said Kennedy.
"Rangers were well-organised and defended well and were rigid. So there are things we can look at to improve upon, not just against Rangers in terms of our playing style and how we want to improve going on to the second half of the season.
Christie cited over Morelos incident
Celtic's Ryan Christie has been hit with a notice of complaint by the SFA for an alleged incident involving Alfredo Morelos in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Rangers.
"We were disappointed more than anything else, with what we expected from the game and how it panned out - the level of performance wasn't quite there.
"We didn't deserve to win, there's no question about that, and there are areas we need to improve upon.
"We didn't perform on the day but putting that in perspective for the first half of the season, so far it has been fantastic: our European campaign, our league form, winning the first cup final (Scottish League Cup) and getting that first piece of silverware.
"It's been a positive start. We are very disappointed in our last game and we will certainly look to rectify that but we have got to look at the bigger picture. We have won the last 10 domestic trophies and we've had a great run in Europe.
"So we can't let the cloud come over us and judge everything on one game."
Ryan Christie is with the squad in Dubai and will therefore not appear in person at his SFA disciplinary charge at Hampden on Monday, after he was hit with a notice of complaint for an alleged incident involving Alfredo Morelos in the Scottish Premiership defeat to Rangers.
The Scotland international is also recovering after undergoing surgery for a minor groin problem, with Kennedy he will be back in action in a matter of weeks.
Kennedy added: "He's OK. He had a setback after the game and had minor surgery on his groin area, which hopefully won't keep him out too long. Hopefully it's a matter of weeks rather than anything longer.
"He will probably miss a chunk of this week but hopefully once we get back, he will get back up to speed and he will not have missed too much football.
"It's minor, so we don't envisage too many problems with it."