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He’s got a lot to say for an assistant manager – Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes on Celtic's John Collins

The Aberdeen manager has hit back after Collins’ recent remarks on the standard of Scottish football.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has hit out at Celtic number two, John Collins, over his recent disparaging comments regarding the competitiveness of the SPL.

The former Celts midfielder remarked – in quotes published by the Daily Record – that players in the SPL were not ‘quick or clever enough’ to punish his Celtic team and are therefore unable to serve as good preparation for European opponents.

McInnes took offence to those quotes and responded strongly:

"He's got a lot to say for an assistant manager, to be honest," said the Aberdeen boss, as per the Herald Scotland.

"He's entitled to his opinion but if it was that easy they'd win the treble every year. I think it's very disparaging; it's a poor comment.”

He added: "Whether he thinks that or not, I think it's disrespectful to the rest of the league to say that. It's disappointing…There is a level of competition there that can test them and I think what he said is a slap in the face to the rest of the league.”

While Collins’ comments are sure to ruffle a few feathers, there’s no denying the truth behind his claims. The Hoops strolled to a league and cup double last season and it’s only ever a lack of application or concentration that prevents a treble returning to Parkhead each year.

Until Rangers return to the top flight and re-establish themselves as title contenders, Celtic will find themselves unchallenged domestically.

As touched upon by Collins, this creates a difficult situation as the intensity and quality the Hoops face on the European stage differs drastically from what they deal with at home.

Adapting to the changes in opponents' quality level and maintaining professionalism is the biggest challenge facing Celtic, and they will need to be at it again for the visit of Malmo in nine days time.

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