Ange Postecoglou reckons he could not have asked any more from his players from last night’s 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in a match played at Legia Warsaw’s stadium due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In his post-match interiew with BT Sports the Celtic manager is clearly relishing the challenge of participating in the Champions League in what is a intriguing group, that Celtic are very much contention to progress from.
“I couldn’t ask any more of the players, they put in a massive effort. They started the game really well and obviously scored the goal. Then they go on the counter attack but I thought we re-grouped after that,” Ange said.
“Second half, we dominated the game, created enough chances to win it, I don’t think we got the rewards that reflected the performance but I couldn’t ask any more of the players.”
On what extra is needed from the players to convert the chances that they are creating at Champions League level but failing to convert, Ange is explains what’s causing that but reckons that his players will get their reward soon enough.
“Sometimes it’s just a little bit of good fortune or a little bit of composure in the front third but as I said, this is Champions League football. It’s the hardest possible level you can play at,” the Celtic manager said. “There’s pressure out there, and from our perspective the pleasing thing was our performance was really strong and if we keep doing that we’ll get the rewards when the time is right.”
On the Shakhtar equaliser, Ange Postecoglou accepted that Mykhaylo Mudryk is a top quality player and took his goal well.
“It’s one of those moments, that’s their strength, Mudryk is an outstanding player he got away from us and finsihed it really well. But aside from that, to be honest, I don’t think Joe (Hart) had a save to make all night.
“I thought our defensive work and our structure was really good, we just couldn’t capitlaise on all our good play with a second goal.
Asked whether he was happy with the full debut from new signing Sead Hakšabanović who played the first half in Warsaw before being replaced by Daizen Maeda at the interval, Ange confirmed that he knew he’d only get so much out of Hakšabanović given his lack of recent football.
“Yes, I was happy. He hasn’t played a lot of football so I knew there’s going to be a limit to what he did, he put in a strong shift in the first half. I just felt Daizen coming on with his energy, I could sense that we could get on top of them, so he came on. But Hakš did well for us tonight, he’ll be a good player for us,” Ange stated.
On his message after two games to his players after picking up a first point in the campaign last night, Ange message is to embrace the challenge and fantastic place to play their football.
“Embrace the challenge. As I said it is the highest leel of club competition. It’s hard. It’s going to take every once of us in every game. In every game we have got to be at our best for every moment of every game. And it’s a fantastic place to compete at. We’ll keep doing what we are doing and take on every challenge the same way.
On the magnificient Celtic support who chanted Ange’s name ahead of kick-off and backed the team superbly throughout the ninety minutes and beyond, Ange simply reckons that they are part of the team.
“Yeah, they have been outstanding all the time. They are great travelling fans and from my perspective they are part of the team. Wherever we travel they come along and create a great atmopshere,” the Celtic manager said, swerving any reference in the question to that link to the Brighton job, which he has already dismissed.
Some Celtic supporters’ comments on the interview and the match that ended Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Celtic 1. In the other match Real Madrid beat RB Leipzig 2-0 in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium so they top of Group F with 6 points, Shakhtar have 4 points, Celtic 1 point and RB Leipzig, with a double header against Celtic looming, are bottom on zero points (same as theRangers in Group A).
“Ange is a top class manager. Today’s performance was tough to watch. The amount of chances we had of scoring in the second half and we couldn’t finish a single one. We dominated the majority of the game but just couldn’t get the goals in the end. Good performance disappointing result. Heads up,” descendingforth.
“The fact we creating these chances is a good sign. Jota completed more dibbles in CL than any other Celtic player 2003/04 onwards an jens completed 109 passes out of 114 again better average than any player in the champions league for Celtic 2003/04 onwards 💚 getting anything away in these groups is a result,” Chris D
“They beat Leipzig 4-1 in Germany… Tonight was a good result during this rebuild under Ange,” C K.
“It is a confidence thing. Last year Celtic weren’t putting away their chances in the SPL but the grew their confidence and now they are slapping up teams in the SPL without blinking. The same thing must happen now in the Champions League. The fundamentals are there. I would rather Celtic create chances and miss goals rather than not create any chances and have the best forward in the world. As Ange said the players need to embrace the challenge and get it into their heads that they belong in the Champions League and the rest will take care of itself,” K K.
“Should have won that so quite disappointing. But a positive result as far as getting points on the board,” Megalodon.
“Disappointing for sure, Celtic should have won the game. On a positive note, the process is moving in the right direction and it’s great to watch,” Athmane.
“Celtic improved on their performance against Real, if they keep it up they will be even better next game!” Anon.
“I know we should have won and on another day we could have won by a couple but mcgregor had a stinker today he put the back line in trouble more than once by being needlessly dispossessed and had a good few stray passes,” Andy McLaughlin.
“Another good performance against a decent team but like the Madrid game we failed to take our chances and as we all know it can be costly but take nothing away from the manager and the players to get where we are considering this is a relatively year old team. We have a couple of home games and we can get the points that will take us to a possibiliy 2nd place,” Kevin Carrick.