“My thing is always about progress,” Postecoglou: “We’re certainly a better side than we were last year”

Celtic will not be altering the way the team plays its football under Ange Postecoglou, despite failing to win any of the three Champions League matches that have played, losing to both Real Madrid (3-0) and RB Leipzig (3-1) while sharing the points with Shakhtar Donetsk (1-1). And the Celtic manager dismisses any notion that there has been a fall-off in the intensity of the team’s play over the last week weeks.

Calls for a more cautious approach when playing against top sides in the Champions League are understandle, according to the manager who was addressing these points at today’s Media Conference, ahead of the trip to McDiarmid Park for the lunchtime kick-off tomorrow in the Scottish Premiership.

(Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ange explained that the team got back from Leipzig at 2am on Thursday morning and that the players then had a day off yesterday. So the club’s pre-match Media Conference featuring the manager and also Oliver Abildgaard unusually took place before training today.

It’s clear that the turn-around is short and Celtic after a tough night of European action in Leipzig are going to have to be wary of a St Johnstone side that until their defeat at Kilmarnock in midweek have been on a decent run.

The dismissal of any plan B cautious option was handled like this by Ange Postecoglou.

(Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

“We kind of understand that, but I think we’ve been pretty good at making sure our game doesn’t really change. Obviously the challenge is different in terms of the styles you play (against) but for the most part, the security we have is that our football fundamentals don’t change depending on the competition we’re in.

“If you chop and change so your style is different in one competition and then another, then there’s always a little bit of uncertainty. Will the guys switch the way we want to play? But our approach is consistent and that helps when you’re in different competitions. You don’t have to shift your mentality to any extent, just stick to the basic principles and that’s what we’ll need to do tomorrow.”

On being asked about the apparent drop off in intensity in recent matches, Ange just doesn’t see it that way. He replied: “Not really. I get it, it’s just the nature of football and the nature of life that people just look at results and work their way back from that. That’s the world we live in and that’s the world of football.

(Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

“You understand that’s how people will ultimately measure football and how a team is going, but that’s not how we measure it. You look at the Motherwell game and people will say we struggled, but we know we created as many good opportunities in that game as we didn’t against Dundee United. But we didn’t score.

My thing is always about progress. If people put a pin in the calendar date today and go back 12 months, I reckon we were fourth or fifth in the league. If you’d said at that time, you’re going to be playing Champions League football and going against the best in the world, people would say we’ve made pretty decent progress.

“We’re certainly a better side than we were last year and we’re certainly still improving that. That’s not going to change people’s outlook because for the most part all they’re going to see is results and that’s they’re only measure.”

 (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Here’s the full Media Conference from today, with the more interesting fan media questions as usual coming at the end. Ange of course is well aware of this and always goes out of his way to provide detailed and interesting answers knowing that he is speaking directly to the support.and discussing questions that come directly from the Celtic support.

It actually works out well for the mainstream media who get to run these answers in their papers and website articles.

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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