Celtic boss Mowbray shrugs off high life

Celtic boss Tony Mowbray watched his side climb to the top of the Scottish Premier League on Sunday, but insisted he couldn't care less about the league table at this stage of the season.

Celtic leapfrogged bitter rivals Rangers thanks to Glenn Looven's last-gasp winner in a 2-1 victory over Hearts in a dramatic 90 minutes at Parkhead. His late header was enough to earn Mowbray's men all three points after Chris Killen's second-half goal had cancelled out an early opener by Hearts midfielder Suso Santana.

But despite the jubilation around the stadium at full-time, Mowbray was keeping his feet on the ground despite a good weekend for his side. "When we get past Christmas and after the New Year, if the season is still tight, then the significance of being top might be more pertinent. I don't really see the significance of it at the moment," he said.

"Maybe some will see it as being important. But if we'd got beat and we were sitting second, I'd have been disappointed but I wouldn't have seen it as if we'd lost the league. I don't put too much into it after just a few games. The other sides have already shown that they are capable of beating the Old Firm this season."

I don't put too much into it (league standings) after just a few games. The other sides have already shown that they are capable of beating the Old Firm this season,
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray.

The win leaves Celtic two points clear of Rangers, who could only draw 0-0 with Kilmarnock on Saturday. But while the home supporters were happy at the final whistle, they seemed less than impressed during an anxious 90 minutes.

They jumped on every mistake and Mowbray reckons his players will need to stop making life hard for themselves and their fans after giving away an early opener for the second home game in a row. "I don't know what the fans think", he said.

Hearts stunned the Parkhead faithful when Santana crashed home an opener from 25 yards after just five minutes. The home side dominated the remainder of the half and went closest to equalising when Shaun Maloney struck the bar with a 30-yard free-kick. The leveller arrived on 58 minutes.

Killen's 25-yard effort was turned away by Janos Balogh but Shaun Maloney picked up the rebound on the left flank. He cut inside and his right-foot cross was powerfully headed home by Killen, who had made a brilliant surge into the box after his initial effort.

Aiden McGeady then cracked a stunning left-foot effort against the bar from 25 yards as Celtic pressed for the winner. They were again thwarted by the woodwork on 72 minutes when Scott McDonald's 20-yard strike hit the post. David Obua nearly snatched a late winner for the visitors but his 25-yard drive fizzed narrowly past Boruc's left-hand post.

There was late drama when referee Dougie McDonald refused to award the home side a penalty after substitute Niall McGinn appeared to be upended in the box by Lee Wallace. But that was all forgotten in the third minute of injury time when Loovens leapt highest to nod home from four yards.

It was another painful lesson for a Hearts side who have already conceded late goals to St Johnstone and Rangers this season and boss Csaba Laszlo admitted his young side need to grow up fast. "We must concentrate for the full 90 minutes. Life is not always easy, there is always surprises and you must search for the solution," said Laszlo.