Ange on Abada – “He’s handful when he does that and he’s always a goal threat”

Ange Postecoglou didn’t like what he was watching today early on when his Celtic team were doing battle with Stephen Robinson’s St Mirren side. After losing an early penalty due to some dubious VAR technology implementation yet again, we couldn’t find our groove and the Saints were closing down the spaces well enough.

After Kyogo Furuhashi nipped in to steal the ball away, following a mistake from Buddies central defender Charles Dunne, we were given a boost as we would be up against ten men for the rest of the game. But that didn’t stop him from deciding to change it up in order to break down that stubborn St Mirren backline.

That’s exactly what he done with the introduction of Liel Abada to the fold, replacing Japan international Daizen Maeda on the right-wing. Although Jota started on the right hand side, Ange moved him to his natural position, consequently allowing Abada to occupy the opposite side of the pitch.

The diminutive forward cause immediate problems for a side still suffering from the sending off just before half-time and we set about getting back into the game as he asked questions of the Paisley side’s defence time and time again this afternoon. He was a key component to our victory today and even got on the scoresheet as well as grabbing an assist along the way.

He took his goal magnificently well, using that squat frame and low-centre-of-gravity to dribble and shimmy his way past several St Mirren defenders to lash a shot into the net past a shocked Trevor Carson. Ange was asked about Liel after the game and queried as to whether he deserves praise for being patient and not spitting out the dummy because he is not starting more regularly. The boss was having none of that though, saying: “What do you reckon would happen to players who throw their toys out of the pram, mate?, as reported by Football Scotland.

“He’s a really ambitious guy who wants to be at a big football club. He wants to win things and be the best he can be. That’s exactly where he is at. All our players, particularly the younger ones who want to go on to further opportunities, maybe to a stronger league, do you think they are going to go to a club where they are guaranteed game time?”No, so it’s no different here.

He said: “We are a big club. Nothing is guaranteed. You’ve got to earn everything and these boys do that. Liel was really good. It’s important — and it’s a weekly thing — that the guys who come on make an impact. The fact they’re not starting doesn’t affect their mind set. I just thought the way the game was going it was a good game for him to come on into. I knew he would get a bit of space out wide to run at them.

On the Israel international himself, and the particular qualities that he has in his game, which he has brought to the club since his £3.5 million move from Maccabi Petah Tikva, the Celtic manager said: “He’s handful when he does that and he’s always a goal threat. It doesn’t matter what opposition he is up against. He was really good today. He’s played a lot of football over the last 18 months for us and he’s scored a lot of goals and supplied a lot of assists. He’s still got a way to improve, I’m sure, but again he’s another within the group who just wants to be better. Consistently when he is asked to contribute, he makes a contribution.”

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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