Vidar Riseth has told The Glasgow Evening Times that Celtic should not give up on Stefan Johansen.
Johansen has been on the books of Celtic since 2014 and was arguably the Bhoys’ best player last season.
The Norway international central midfielder, though, has not been playing well this season.
The 25-year-old has struggled with a hip problem this campaign, and Riseth believes that it is why Johansen is not doing well.
“I have spoken to Stefan a few times and no-one is more disappointed than him at how he has played this season,” the former Celtic man told The Glasgow Evening Times. “It is not like he has not been able to feel that he is struggling for form. But he has been playing with a problem in his hips.
“Every time he tries to turn he is in pain and it is the same when he tries to play a long pass. He has been taking painkillers for the problem and trying to play through it but it has obviously held him back because it is impossible to relax when you are in pain.”
“I didn’t see him play against Estonia earlier this week as I am away on holiday, but in the last qualifier we had against Hungary I thought that he was excellent,” added Riseth. “That is why Celtic should not give up on him.
“He can get back to the kind of form he showed last season, but he needs a bit of support. This is the time when he needs to have the support of the fans and if he can get that then it will go a long way to getting back to showing what he can do on the pitch.”
Celtic are at the top of the Scottish Premiership table at the moment with 69 points from 30 matches.
The Glasgow giants are four points clear of second-placed Aberdeen and have a game in hand.
Ronny Deila’s side will return to action next weekend when they take on Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park in the Scottish Premiership.
Hearts are currently third in the standings and will give the Hoops a run for their money.
Celtic have recently returned to form, having won their last three matches in all competitions.