John Kennedy has told Odsonne Edouard to hone his killer instincts if he wants to join the list of world-class strikers.
Despite being the top scorer in the Premiership, the Frenchman has failed to recapture the striking form that saw him bag 28 goals in all competitions last term.
That dip in front of goal has mirrored the Celtic's fall from grace and the caretaker boss insists it is time to start cashing in on chances created ahead of next Saturday’s Scottish Cup clash with Rangers.
Kennedy insists Edouard must start smelling blood if the 23-year-old, a £9million signing from PSG, is to join the likes of Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski as the most feared in Europe.
He said: “I absolutely love Odsonne in terms of what he gives to the team.
“The only thing he has lacked in the last period is that clinical edge and we have spoken about that.
“In terms of becoming a top striker, Odsonne has all the tools. I have worked with many strikers and in terms of the level he can go to, he can go to the very top.
“But he is still young and he is still developing and working.
“He needs to add that clinical edge. You see Benzema and Lewandowski, all the top guys, they are ruthless.
“So that is the next step for Odsonne. It would be very nice to be able to do that in the next game.
“Sometimes you go through periods, in terms of confidence, when you might not be as clinical as you can be.
“But that will come and I can see it coming.
“We are dominating games and keeping the other team away from goal. Our possession and control of the game is good and we’re creating chances.
“It’s just about adding that final bit, which is also the hardest.”
With no sign of any white smoke emanating from Parkhead on the manager front, Kennedy will continue in command for the trip to Ibrox. He’s convinced it’s the chance to bring a much needed feel-good factor for the fans and lay down a marker for next season.
He said: “It’s been a difficult season, the way it has gone, especially for the fans who can’t attend the games.
“This is an opportunity to hopefully bring a bit of pride back to the club.
“It will be a tough game but we are capable of going and winning that game and progressing in the cup.
“It’s exciting and we are looking forward to it.
“We performed well in the New Year game until Nir Bitton was sent off. Then at Celtic Park we were excellent, dominated the game and should have won, albeit we didn’t.
“The next step is to win. To do that in a cup tie would be extra special, especially with how we want to finish the season. It’s a good tie for us and an exciting game and we will be very much fired up for it. We will deal with it when it comes.”
Kennedy is adamant the lack of a new manager being in place, and a sense of a club being in limbo, have not had a negative impact on a squad of players who remain as hungry as ever for silverware.
He said: “You still have to go out and represent the club in the right fashion.
“Whether we play Rangers, Livingston or Falkirk we have to take pride in what we do.
“It was a difficult week leading up to the Falkirk tie with the internationals but we didn’t take it easy. We had one of our record
numbers of shots on goals.
“We need to approach the games in the right frame of mind and having the extra incentive of it being Rangers and the Scottish Cup will make it a thrilling game.”