“Players still showed a really strong mentality,” Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou watched from the sidelines at Paradise as his side came from behind for the second time in as many games to keep ahead of theRangers by nine points in the cinch Premiership league table. The Bhoys received an early setback against the Edinburgh team to go on and finish comfortable 3-1 winners.

The opening goal from Josh Ginnelly proved that nothing is a given and that Celtic’s defence can be gotten at, particularly with the way Ange likes to play the game. Ralston was caught out of position after the Hearts midfield turned over the ball following some sloppy play by the reigning Scottish Premiership Champions. Ralston hasn’t played for some time and it showed, as both him and Alexandro Bernabei were rusty last night.

 Alexandro Bernabei controls the ball during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at on March 08, 2023. . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, despite the fact that we fell behind again, it didn’t deter us from regaining a foothold in the game and enforcing our dominance on the Gorgie outfit. Daizen Maeda got the important equaliser but subsequently injured himself in the process, then Kyogo Furuhashi put us 2-1 ahead from a wonderful pass from Aaron Mooy, taking his tally to 20 in the cinch Premiership this season.

After that we totally dominated the ball and with reinforcements from the bench, we ensured Robbie Neilson’s men didn’t get a last-gasp smash-and-grab they didn’t deserve. Tomoki Iwata shored up that midfield area and he’s proving to be very adept at protecting the backline during his substitute appearances lately. Sead Haksabanovic leathered in the last goal on the 90th minute to seal the deal and maintain that nine-point gap at the top of the league looking down on theRangers.

 Ange Postecoglou, and Andy Halliday embrace following the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hearts at Celtic Park on March 08, 2023  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ange spoke to Celtic TV after the match about his team and was delighted with the mentality shown by our squad, even though we perhaps didn’t play our best by any stretch of the imagination. “We had to work hard for it, we didn’t seem to get into our groove in terms of our football. Some of that is because I made a few changes and that disrupted things and the two full-backs haven’t played in a while so I have to make allowances for that.

“Ultimately the players still showed a really strong mentality and it’s highlighted again with the quality of our three great goals. They’re a good side and we’re getting into the period of the season where everyone has something to play for and they came at us but we could have handled it a bit better. We got caught up in the excitement of the game and just needed to settle down a bit and get control of it.”

The boss had to mention his goalscorers, as all three strikes were excellent in their own respective ways. Maeda’s was a phenomenal team goal that highlighted our lethal ability to kill teams off in the blink of an eye. Kyogo’s strike that put us into the lead, showcased the Japanese player’s cut-throat ability in front of goal, whereas Sead Haksabanovic’s was just a case of sheer individual brilliance.

He added: “The quality of our goals was great. Kyogo was brilliant tonight and there were so many opportunities to play him in and we just have to be a bit smarter in the way we play our football. He never stops running and he broke through with the perfect timing for the equaliser and it was a great ball for Daizen as well.It was important the guys coming on stabilised us and getting the goals helped that.

“It’s a big part of who we are and with three games this week, we knew we had to call on people and the guys coming on did well. Sead was brilliant and it was a great goal and we know he has that quality. He hasn’t had a real extended run in the team for a number of reasons and every time he’s been called upon he’s been excellent. He’s got a great attitude and it’s great for him to get a reward today and another player that can give us more and he will.”

Paul Gillespie

About Author

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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