Kilmarnock v Celtic – ‘Pitch is part of the challenge,’ Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou has insisted that the astro-turf pitch at Kilmarnock is part of the challenge when Celtic come to town. Having previously experienced these awful types of surfaces in the Scottish Premiership over the past two years or so, the big man will have no doubt the obstacle that it poses and the potential levelled that it can bequeath against technically inferior opposition.

It is no secret that David Martindale’s Livingston side always try and use their disturbing playing surface as a means of evening up the field whenever either of the Glasgow clubs visit West Lothian. He has been done out publicly and revealed that they deliberately try and make the surface even stickier so that our play will be less fluent and interrupt our creative forces within the side.

The glee with which he says it sometimes makes you want to spew with disgust, as Scottish football as a product is already facing an upward battle in terms of television rights and sponsorship monies. Derek McInnes will no doubt be hoping that his own faux-football pitch can do something similar and intervene in the Scottish Premiership Champions assault on the rest of the league.

We have visited previously in the season, way back in August, and we emerged victorious that day, despite the inevitability of the pitch causing a slowing in the zip of the ball. Postecoglou mentioned this in his pre-match media conference ahead of tomorrow’s 12pm kick-off in Ayrshire, and asserted that it’s all part of the challenge.

He said: “I’m not a fan of it (the astro) because it changes the game. But ultimately that’s the challenge that’s there.

“To be fair to Kilmarnock we played them pretty early on in the piece and Derek McInnes has certainly had more time to get them to adjust to Premiership football since then and their form at home has been strong. I think it will be a really tough challenge for us.

“Their home form is really strong and they are fighting for their Premiership status. But we have been really good all year on focusing on who our next opponent is and making sure we are ready for what’s in store for us. We know if we can play our football and bring our energy and intensity to the game that we can then we are hard to stop.”

Paul Gillespie

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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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