Postecoglou lays down the gauntlet to Celtic’s fringe players

Ange Postecoglou has come out and given the fringe players at Celtic Park a challenge to get into the starting XI. The manager was asked about the possibility of players being moved on in the January transfer window, but insisted he doesn’t quite see it like that as regards to those players on the margins of the first team squad.

“No one needs to convince me,” the Celtic manager said at his media conference yesterday (now as we discussed yesterday featuring the Celtic Fan Media alongside the hacks). “How they present themselves every day is all I need. Whilst everyone sees the end product on a game day, what we do in training is vital to our football and that only happens if everyone is contributing in training, the ones who are playing and the ones who aren’t.”

 Gary Mackay-Steven and Ismaila Soro battle for the ball. Photo Jane Barlow

Ange added: “They’re still representatives of this football club and they’re still contributing to what we are doing. Everyone wants to play and people are disappointed when they don’t but ultimately you have an obligation and a responsibility to come here every day and be the best you can be. All the guys in the squad at the moment are doing that.

“There’s no one who I feel isn’t putting in or showing signs of disenchantment from the point of view of not wanting to contribute. At the same time if there ever comes a point where people feel this is not the place for them then I’m happy to have that conversation and we will do what’s best for this football club,” the Celtic manager stated.

Celtic’s Adam Montgomery and Liam Scales. Photo Andrew Milligan

Players like Albian Ajeti, Vassilis Barkas, Ismalia Soro, Liam Scales and James McCarthy have all been unable to make a consistent contribution towards the Celtic team since the start of the season began. Ajeti has played and scored a few, but has been lacking any form of consistency with his performances.

Ismalia Soro has been used sparingly by Ange Postecoglou also, having been guilty of overly aggressive fouling when he has been given an opportunity. Liam Scales has not even been seem, apart from a couple of cameo appearances against Ferencvaros and Raith Rovers respectively. Whilst James McCarthy has been suffering from a continual lack of match sharpness which can only come from game time, leaving the Irishman in a Catch-22 scenario.

Barkas and Bain. Photo: Andrew Milligan

I’m afraid to say that our expensive goalkeeper, Vasilis Barkas won’t be getting a game anytime soon. Barkas has endured a torrid time of it in Scotland and must be looking at all available options ahead of the winter transfer window opening up. The ‘ keeper is completely shot of confidence and will need built up again wherever he goes. Unfortunately for him it won’t be at Parkhead.

Celtic have enough quality on the fringes of the first team, it’s trying to eek it out of them that will be the task Ange is faced with in the coming weeks and months ahead. Players like McCarthy, Soro and Ajeti can all make a contribution to this campaign. It is crucial all are ready to be called upon when needed. That’s what makes title winning sides.

James McCarthy  in action during the cinch Premiership match at Livingston. Photo: Andrew Milligan

Watch Ange Postecoglou’s media conference below, the fan media questions are at the end…

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.

Comments are closed.