Celtic legend issues Aaron Mooy fitness claim after lacklustre start to Parkhead career

The Australian midfielder has been restricted to late substitute appearances since arriving at Parkhead this summer.

Charlie Nicholas believes summer signing Aaron Mooy requires more game time if he is to make an impact Celtic this season - but is not convinced he will dislodge favoured midfield duo Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate.

The 32-year-old, who joined the Scottish champions on a free transfer earlier this summer, was one of six players to benefit from manager Ange Postecoglou’s decision freshen up his starting line-up against St Mirren on Sunday.

It was the Australian international’s second start for the Parkhead club and his first in the league, with the remainder of his eight appearances coming from the bench so far this season.

Aaron Mooy makes his first appearance for the club during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen

A much-changed Hoops team crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat in Paisley, bringing an end to their year-long unbeaten domestic run which spanned 38 matches.

Former Celtic striker Nicholas bemoaned Mooy’s performance after the former Brighton and Huddersfield Town star was substituted at half-time.

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Mooy and team-mate David Turnbull were handed a rare chance to impress at the SMiSA Stadium but Nicholas reckons Postecoglou got his team selection wrong.

Writing in his Scottish Daily Express column, Nicholas said: “The Hoops were way below their normal standards.

“Ange Postecoglou made the wrong changes and admitted as much after the game. The players who came into the starting line-up didn’t deliver, David Turnbull in particular. He didn’t contribute the way he has to.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou cuts a miserable figure during the 2-0 defeat by St Mirren in Paisley in which he said a first league loss in 364 days was down to being devoid of the level of work ethic, performance and belief that are required. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate are the guys ahead of him in the pecking order, so when Turnbull gets his chance he has to take it - and he didn’t do that in Paisley.

“I also feel that every time Aaron Mooy has come into the side he looks a yard off the pace. He needs more minutes and a run of matches but I’m not sure he’s going to get them.

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“For the first time this season there is a question mark over this Celtic team and Ange will need to address it.”

Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou has flown back to Australia as part of a Celtic delegation to finalise talks and promotional activity relating to club’s involvement the Sydney Super Cup.

Postecoglou’s side will travel Down Under during the FIFA World Cup in November and take on Sydney FC before facing Premier League side Everton during the four-team tournament.

A statement on the website of the Accor Stadium read: “Welcome to Sydney @CelticFC!

“Executives from the Scottish Premiership champions have arrived at #AccorStadium as preparations ramp up for the #SydneySuperCup this November.

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“Ange and Celtic officials will be out and about in Sydney this week as planning continues for the Sydney Super Cup, which will also feature A-League clubs @wswanderersfc and @SydneyFC.”