Reo Grande: “Hatate was great and he has been all year,” Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou singled out yesterday’s Man of the Match Reo Hatate for special praise shortly after the final whistle in the 4-0 win over Aberdeen at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon, in his post-match interview in BBC Sportsound.

“In the first half I thought we were outstanding. The quality of our football was excellent. Credit to the lads. We are getting stronger each week,” the delighted Celtic manager said. “Hatate was great and he has been all year. He is constantly looking to improve and is not going to rest until he is the footballer he wants to be in his own mind.”

Speaking to Celtic TV Ange Postecoglou reckoned that his Celtic side were very good against Aberdeen and in particular were outstanding in the first 45 minutes…

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at on February 18, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic TV: The boys were on it from the start today – what impressed you the most of that performance?

Ange Postecoglou: “Yeah, it was good. I thought first half was outstanding, I thought our football was really exciting. Good quality, working hard, but really exciting as well. We got a couple of goals but could’ve had a couple more quite easily. Second half was a bit of a grind for 15-20 but then we finished strong again and the guys coming on made a big impact. So, yeah, pleased.”

Celtic TV: There was an atmosphere around the stadium today and the boys really reacted to that and no one more so than Callum McGregor when he drove in the first goal…

Ange Postecoglou: “We had a chat about making sure we got a strong start today. I thought that was going to be important because obviously Aberdeen are going through a bit of a transitional stage. You’ve got some players there who haven’t experienced playing against us and I thought if we start really strong we’d put them on the back foot. The skipper set us off in that first minute and we didn’t look back after.”

Reo Hatate celebrates (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic TV: Reo Hatate’s performances are reaching another level at the moment…

Ange Postecoglou: “Yeah, well he has to. We want him to. He wants to. So, you know, it’s not about resting on your laurels. We already know he’s a good footballer. I think he’s proven that but, like all the rest, we want him to be better. He wants to be better and certainly at the moment he’s just pushing himself to new levels. He’s a very determined young man. He’s just so focused on being the best footballer he can be and you see that every day and he gets the rewards for it.”

Celtic TV: Again, big contributions coming from the bench. How pleased are you that everyone who steps on the pitch appears to play every minute as if it’s their last?

Ange Postecoglou: “It’s been important to us. We’ve been strong for a long time and that’s the key to it. Even if we do have a bit of a flat spot, there are people coming on the corner, raise the levels again. They all want to play their part, they all want to contribute. A contribution in the last 10 minutes is just as important as the first 80 and that’s the way they’ve embraced it. I’m sure the other ones who aren’t starting want to play but they’re also seeing an opportunity to play because now there are guys who aren’t even getting any minutes at the moment who deserve to get some minutes. But if we want to be the team we want to be and attack it on all fronts in terms of the competitions we need a strong squad and that’s what we’ve got.”

Callum McGregor of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at on February 18, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic TV: Everyone will be vying for the police and next week’s Scottish League Cup final. It’s an important week – how do you maintain that kind of composure during the noise?

Ange Postecoglou: “You just embrace it – that’s why you want to be in cup finals. It’s not just another week, it’s not just another normal build-up and that’s the beauty of it. It’s why you work so hard to get to these big games. It’s a game of massive consequence in terms of there being a trophy on the line. We’ll enjoy the week but it won’t deter us from knowing what’s important and what’s important is that we prepare ourselves as we always do to be the best we can be on the day.”

Here’s the Unique Angle from yesterday’s match…

GLASGOW DERBY UNDER THE LIGHTS ON FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY, KICK-OFF 7PM….CELTIC V theRangers

Don’t forget there’s some Friday Night Football under the lights this coming Friday when Fran Alonso’s title challenging Celtic side take on theRangers at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie with the match only open to Celtic supporters.  Celtic are a point ahead of theRangers at the moment and three behind Glasgow City who we play a week on Sunday, also over at Airdrie.  A win against theRangers takes Celtic to the top of the league and a win the following Sunday will really put Celtic in the driving seat for our first ever SWPL1 Title. Get along and support the team, for  full ticket details click below…COYGIG!

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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