“Our performance was not at the level we have been reaching,” Ange Postecoglou

Celtic’s opportunity to complete a remarkable record of winning every single home game in domestic football in a season ended this afternoon in a 1-1 draw against a time-wasting, play-acting Motherwell side who left with a point that they certainly didn’t deserve after a match in which Celtic dominated from start to finish but somehow managed to concede a second half goal to Kevin van Veen to cancel out Callum McGregor’s opener.

Celtic v Motherwell – Ange Postecoglou during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday April 22, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Stuart Kettlewell was understandably delighted with the outcome and noted that his side were the first to leave Parkhead with a point this season. It’s been a year since Celtic failed to win a match since the 1-1 draw with theRangers and now the attention will turn to the Scottish Cup semi-final next weekend, which is by some way the biggest game of the season for both sides.

Ange Postecoglou spoke to BBC Sportsound after the match. Here’s what happened…

Celtic v Motherwell – Motherwell’s goal hero Kevin van Veen celebrates with Callum Slattery during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park on Saturday April 22, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

BBC Sportsound: What were your thoughts on the match and the result?

Ange Postecoglou: “Obviously, it was a disappointing outcome and our performance was not at the level we have been reaching. I thought in the first half we controlled the game really well and scored our goal and had some good opportunities to get a second. We conceded a really disappointing and poor goal and from there we still had chances to win it but there was a bit of desperation around our game and we just didn’t get the goal we needed.”

BBC Sportsound: Can you put your finger on why it didn’t click as you used the word desperation did the players not show their usual composure?

Ange Postecoglou:  “We were in control of the game for the most part…well the whole part. I think when you concede a goal like we did today that gives the opposition some encouragement and some extra energy to defend a little bit more desperately and we just lacked that little bit of composure, particularly in the box as we had some good changes that we normally put away.”

BBC Sportsound: Substitute Rocco Vata did well when he came on, didn’t he? He set up a couple of chances one for Hyeon-gyu Oh that looked like it was in but it was on the wrong side of the post.

Celtic v Motherwell – cinch Premiership –  Hyeongyu Oh misses a fine chance during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday April 22, 2023. Steve Welsh

Ange Postecoglou:  “We created those chances which we have been pretty good at taking and we didn’t take them today. That’s the game of football and we need to lick our wounds, review it and move on.”

BBC Sportsound: It is not often that we talk to you after a match at Celtic Park and you have not won, I guess that speaks volumes for the high bar that you have set doesn’t it? It’s nearly a year since you have not won in the league here.

Ange Postecoglou: “That’s the kind of standards we want to set so if we fall short of them then we have got to understand we will be disappointed. This is what the players want and the situation they want to be in. They want to be a team that sets standards and keeps pushing to new levels and when you do that there are going to be times when you stumble and when you do that you have to get back up and go again.”

BBC Sportsound: You have spoken about that all season whatever situation your players have been thrown they have responded, haven’t they?

Ange Postecoglou: “It is another little challenge for us and we will review it and get back to the training park and work hard for a big game next week.”

Celtic v Motherwell – cinch Premiership –  Kyogo Furuhashi after the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday April 22, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

BBC Sportsound: That’s the beauty of football as there is another big game on the horizon and they don’t come much bigger than the Scottish Cup semi-final against your big rivals from across the city. Will you have any of the players back like (Reo) Hatate and Jota?

Ange Postecoglou: “We will see. Reo has been out for four weeks and he will have to train all week. It is fair to say they’re close.  Abada is also close. So we will see. We’ll see how they go and irrespective if they are available or not we are just going to prepare ourselves and get ready for a big game.”

BBC Sportsound: Is this one final push in what could still be an extraordinary season?

Ange Postecoglou: ‘Nothing changes. Whilst people have been talking about other things our focus has to be on what is in front of us. We still have to win the title and we are in the semi-final of the cup so there is still a bit to play for.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

1 Comment

  1. Motherwell deserved their point.
    Can’t blame them for Celtic inability to turn possession into goals.
    Hopefully next week the goal tap will be turned on.
    Let Abada go.
    Vata ready to step in and play for the badge.
    Hail Hail.