Celtic v Blackburn Rovers – Ange’s thoughts plus reaction from supporters

Here’s what Ange Postecoglou had to say to Celtic TV after the 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon. And we’ve included some supporter feedback to this interview to gauge the thoughts of the Celtic fans after the latest pre-season fixture and the first back at Paradise…

 Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic is seen in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park on July 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Q: For a pre-season friendly it felt as if it had a good competitive edge…

Ange Postecoglou: Yeah not too bad. The first half was real good, both from a competitive point of view and also our performance. Both teams were at it and we obviously conceded early but, after that, I thought we got a good grip of the game and their football was really bright and the movement was good and was solid defensively.

The second half got to be a bit scrappy. To be fair, when both (sides) are making a lot of changes it’s really hard to get into a sort of rhythm. Both for the players coming on and the game itself. So second half wasn’t great as an overall exercise but that’s the challenge of these games.

Q: In the first 45, did you start to see the fruits of your labour in pre-season and what you’ve been doing over the last 12 months, it was a very fluid performance in that period?

Celtic v Blackburn Rovers – Pre Season Friendly – Celtic Park Celtic s Matt O Riley left and Blackburn Rovers Lewis Travis battle for the ball during a pre-season friendly match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday July 16, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan

Ange Postecoglou: Yeah, I think it’s reflective of the work we’ve done so far and where we’re at. We’re still two weeks out from the season but I’ve done a fair bit of work in Austria and continue to do that here. It’s about getting the guys in the best possible physical condition for the first game and that means working hard at training – not necessarily ideal preparation for games, but I think I showed in the first half anyway that we’re tracking well and the work we’re doing will bear fruit.

Q: As far as preparation and readiness go, where we are you on that timeline? Do you feel that you are almost there?

Ange Postecoglou: What we want to do is have a group of players ready to go when we play Aberdeen. That’s the whole thing. How we get to that space is up to us but we’ve got two weeks ago. That’s a lot of time for us to prepare a group of players and we’ve put two solid weeks in already. I don’t want to put any markers on where we’re going to be because hopefully it will be well beyond where I think we need to be.

 Jota of Celtic is injured during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park on July 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Q: We’ll open this stadium to season ticket holders on Monday. It’s an unusual thing to have a crowd here for a training session. I asked Jota if we can expect more tricks and he basically said ‘no you can expect a lot of running and a lot of hard work. What can the fans expect to see on Monday? 

Ange Postecoglou: Hopefully get a taste of what our training looks like. The boys are always professional in what they do at training. It’ll be great to enjoy the day with our supporters before the serious stuff starts. It’ll be great day just to  connect.

Some supporter feedback on this post match interview with the Celtic manager…

“The build up to this season is by far the best preparations any manager has coordinated and planned for a very long time. Well done Ange,” Joe Hamilton.

“Decent performance after the start. Second half was more scrappy after all the changes. Jullien and Lawal is a centre back pairing I hope we don’t see again. A lot of nonsense being talked, some people’s expectations of everything in this day and age are ridiculous. Yes there are improvements that can be made but it is still pre-season. We are in a very good place, look at the teams we were fielding in these games a year ago,” Brian.

Celtic v Blackburn Rovers – Pre Season Friendly – Celtic Park Celtic s David Turnbull left celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game from a free-kick during a pre-season friendly match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday July 16, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan 

“Need to get Starfelt back fit, and bring in Thiaw or the likes. Also want to see us land this Fausto Vera. Good pre-season work thus far,”  Sean Fitzgerald.

“The only thing that worries me about this team is that they are very small and too nice.  We need a few more 6ft + bruisers we ain’t physical enough especially in the middle of midfield.  McGregor is great in possession but i wouldn’t say he offers the defence any real cover,”  B3NJYs.

“The football in the 1st half was really good, don’t know why we were so bad in the 2nd it was a hard watch. Big Jullien is not up for it his body language was shocking today really starting to think letting big Liam Scales go on loan to the sheep was a big mistake we need height & strength in that defence.  Liam would have brought that to the table,”  S Anderson.

: Liel Abada of Celtic is seen in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park on July 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I thought we played well against a team whose  players wouldn’t even consider playing for us because we couldn’t match their wage demands!”  Lee Morrison.

“A lot of our players especially 2nd half can’t cope with what Ange is asking them to do,” AK

“There are lots of players that are just not good enough. Lawal is young, he’ll improve, but god almighty is he slow and bad at passing. We need to strengthen that defence big time. Other positions looking good, but Forrest is in a bad place I think,”  OS.

“Jesus, it’s friendlies, not full competition. It’s about fitness, sharpness, trying things out. Half you starting to resembling the zombies and slagging the manager and the players. You’re a disgrace, faithful through and through , remember it.” Wee Jock.

Tyrhs Dolan of Blackburn Rovers vies with Matt O’Riley during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers on July 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Defence looked dodgy. Need a couple of more signings for the game the new season…” Ben. 

“Need to get defenders… it was apparent that we have problems when CCV goes off. young lad Lawal is not ready he tries to make silly passes hopefully he will take up next level and improve his speed. Atmosphere was great for a friendly,”  M. 

“Another good work out, dominated and played some good stuff first 45 to 60 mins,  I hope Kevin Clancy doesn’t mean to continue like this – he was shocking,” Anon.

“First half we looked awesome, mostly, after that terrible start; could’ve been a few goals up at half-time. Slack passing, lapses in concentration, lack of awareness of opposition positions are where work needs done. Second half showed why we need quality strength in depth. Feel the primary positions we need to strengthen are Centre Back, Centre Forward, and a Right Winger.” Mark.

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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