Celtic boss on Motherwell’s “Licence to be Aggressive” in League Cup clash

Celtic go to Fir Park tomorrow early evening to take on a Motherwell side that lost 2-1 at home to theRangers on Sunday and also fell to defeat by the same scoreline at Celtic Park a few weeks ago.

Ange Postecoglou’s side started their defence with an away win up at Dingwall against Ross County at the end of August and are on the road again in the quarter final this time with the shorter trip over to Lanarkshire.

Ross County v Celtic – Premier Sports Cup – Second Round – Global Energy Stadium Celtic s James Forrest celebrates scoring their side s fourth goal of the game during the Premier Sports Cup second round match at the Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall. Picture date: Wednesday August 31, 2022. PhotoTrevor Martin

At today’s Media Conference aheadof what looks like being an exciting cup-tie, Ange Postecolgou outlined the significance of his team winning this cup compeition last season an the importance of defending it this time around.

“It’s just the nature of this football club that, irrespective of your recent history in any competition, particularly domestically, you have to be successful again,” Ange said.

“It doesn’t matter if we won it last year. We know playing for this club means you challenge for every competition.

“It helped us in terms of our progress as a team because the start of the year was very challenging and doing well in the cup and winning it accelerated some of our progress and belief in what we were doing.

Ross County v Celtic – Premier Sports Cup – Second Round – Global Energy Stadium Celtic s Aaron Mooy attempts a shot on goal during the Premier Sports Cup second round match at the Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall. Picture date: Wednesday August 31, 2022. Photo Trevor Martin

“In terms of this year, we’re expected to challenge and that’s what we will be doing,” the Celtic manager continued.

Ange Postecoglou has been satififed with the start to the season that his Celtic squad has made winning 9/10 of the league matches played and obviously progressing in the League Cup.

“Our form has been consistent and when we play well home or away we know we’re hard to stop, and that’s our aim on Wednesday,” the gaffer said. “Sometimes for clubs, the league has a lot of pressure because you’re always fighting for something and cups give you the chance to free yourself up a little bit, which gives teams a bit more licence to be aggressive in their approach.

“It shouldn’t affect us or our players because our approach is the same all the time but for the opposition,one-off game can lift their levels because they know they can progress into the next round and I’m looking forward to it.”

On the injury situation it’s a case of same again from the weekend, squad-wise with both Jota and David Turnbull remaining sidelined but both should be fine for the weekend, while it’s going to be slightly more longer term for Callum McGregor and Carl Starfelt.

Jota during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Real Madrid at Celtic Park, Photo Richard Callis Sports

“Jota’s progressing and is out training but won’t be right for tomorrow. The ones closest to coming back are Jota and Turnbull but they will miss tomorrow and we will see about the weekend,” Ange Postecoglou revealed.

“It’s challenging in respect of making sure the whole squad is primed to go and we’ve planned for this since pre-season.

“We knew the schedule and that’s why we’ve put a squad together that we have and made sure we got the extra bodies in because I knew we would need them in this period,” Ange said today.

Ange Postecoglou follows the action from the sidelines during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match RB Leipzig v Celtic FC in Leipzig, eastern Germany on October 5, 2022.  (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

“For me and the staff, it’s making sure the ones that are healthy, we are getting the sufficient work into them and they’re ready to go. From my perspective we need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Ange said. “The worst thing we can do when the goals aren’t going in is change our approach because we know we are still creating our chances.

“The answer doesn’t lie in doing anything differently. t lies in believing in our approach and eventually we take them and that’s what happened at the weekend. We believe in how we play our football and if we weren’t getting chances then that would be a different discussion for me, but our football has still been good in that final third.”

Remember, the Motherwell v Celtic match tomorrow at Fir Park, Mothwerwell kicks-off at 6.15pm (Celtic Park time).

Here’s Ange’s full Media Conference from today…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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