Updated Monday, 22nd June 2009
Joe McBride knows that Celtic need somebody to score goals if they are to get their hands on the SPL title next season.
Another Celtic man has come out to offer his advice to new Parkhead manager Tony Mowbray. Joe McBride insists the new regime's priority must be a goalscorer and he believes Steven Fletcher is the answer. The Hibs striker, who worked with former Hibees' boss Mowbray at Easter Road, was a target of the previous management led by Gordon Strachan in January. There were also rumours at the time that Mowbray wanted him at West Brom but the Scotland striker stayed in Leith as Hibs Rod Petrie played hard ball saying that Fletcher was not for sale at any price. However, Fletcher recently came out to say that he would like the chance to play for his boyhood heroes and speculation emerged again that the move to Celtic could be on.
The 70-year-old McBride, who played for the Parkhead club in the 1960s, admitted that he is impressed by the Hibs striker. He said: "There is no question about it, a scorer is a priority for Tony Mowbray. If Celtic would have scored against Hibs at Easter Road in the second last game of the season, when I thought they had 70% of the play, then I could have seen them winning the league. But they didn't score and the next game was also goalless. So there is no question about it, a scorer is a priority. And on that day at Easter Road I thought Fletcher had an outstanding game. On that performance, he looked a player and Gordon may have admitted that he could have done with him. I thought Celtic played reasonable football but were not finishing and paid the penalty. In the second half of the season they went ages without scoring goals in matches they should have won out the park. Scott McDonald does his job. He didn't have a great striking ratio last season but he scored a few and no-one could complain. But he was the only one who was going to score. I don't know if it was a bad injury that Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink had and he didn't recover from it. Also, Georgios Samaras started the season well but in the second half of the season he didn't perform at all, in terms of scoring. So Celtic needed a striker, most definitely."
McBride will reserve judgement on Mowbray for now but knows that the former Celtic defender has to bring back the league title to Parkhead after losing it to Old Firm rivals Rangers last season. He said: "I really don't know Tony but everything I read is positive. He is dedicated and is focused so if he has any ability then that will show through. He did reasonably well at Hibs and West Brom but the Celtic fans will want success and the only way to succeed is to win the league and get a good run in Europe. To be fair to Gordon Strachan, he did that. A lot of supporters didn't see Strachan as the man for Celtic but you can't argue with his record. His team was a disappointment last season. If he had won the league I don't think there would have been a problem but he didn't and the fans were upset. I think they were a better footballing side than Rangers last year but Rangers won most of the important games and got the points and if you are to win the league, then you've got to win games."
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