“Let’s make an impact at that level,” Ange tells Celtic players ahead of Leipzig games

Ange Postecoglou looked back on the 2-1 win over Motherwell at the weekend but mostly looked ahead to the next challenge as he looks for his first Champions League win in the German city of Leipzig on Wednesday night.

Speaking to Celtic TV earlier today the Celtic manager remains hopeful that Cameron Carter-Vickers will be available, and he certainly is worth taking a risk on, but his usual defensive side-kick Carl Starfelt will be missing. Giorgos Giakoumakis looks set to be involved.

“After the weekend’s game everyone got through it really well from a physical standpoint, which is important, and were still waiting on Cameron to see how he is, and obviously Carl misses out, but aside from that, everyone seems to be in good shape physically,” Ange said.

“We’ll recover from the game, and prepare. This is pretty much going to be our routine between now and the break, so we know what we need to do. The recovery process is going to be important with all the football we have and how we give the players feedback on games and how we prepare them for games.

“That means limited time out on the training field but we still want to maximise as much as we can the quality of our football there, but most of it will be just getting in to this routine of recovery, review and preparing for the next game. You still take one bite at a time rather than consuming the whole lot, so you still focus on it step by step,” Ange added.

“But we’ve known that for quite a while, so we’ve been preparing for it with the squad in the way we’ve been training so that come this period we know we’re going to have to rely on the bulk of the squad to get us through if we want to maintain performance levels.

“But it’s still really about focusing on what’s next, that’s the most important thing – the next game, not looking too far ahead, making sure our training and our preparation is all about what’s the next challenge for us.

“Particularly with the Champions League game, you can’t really look beyond that. It’s been good, I would enjoy it more if we’d won, obviously because you want to win games of football.

“But it’s just great to be performing at that level again and it’s where the club needs to be, wants to be and now the challenge for us is to grow every time we’re out there.

“I guess for the players, that initial excitement in the first game, the buzz of being in the Champions League, particularly here at home playing against Real Madrid was fantastic, but now we’ve done that it’s about ‘let’s make an impact at that level’.

“So it doesn’t mean the challenge is getting any easier, because Leipzig away is a pretty tough challenge, but, as I said now, it’s about really wanting us to be present at that stage, to be competitive at that stage and growing every time we’re out there.”

Ange is well aware that Leipzig pose a serious threat and will be hungry for their first win after punishing defeats at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and away to the Group leaders and current European Champions Real Madrid. Three consecutive Champions League defeats for RB Leipzig would be a disater for them but would put Celtic in a tremedous position with Leipzig then Shakhtar to come to Paradise in matches four and five.

“They had a little bit of a disrupted start to the season. But the change of manager seems to have sparked them a little bit. All the traditional trademarks of their football are there, they’ve got a lot of speed, very dynamic and in terms of transition football they’re quick.

“When you’re playing away in the Champions League there’s always a massive challenge to overcome those hurdles. But I think it will be a good game for us to measure our football, measure ourselves and we’ll be ready for it.”


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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