Reo Hatate: “He’s a very determined young man,” Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou watched his Celtic side maintain their winning run and dismantle Aberdeen at home on Saturday afternoon and revealed he was delighted with the performance and result. The team has been firing on all cylinders recently and have begun to peak at just the right time, with the possibility of silverware just round the corner now.

The boss was pleased with everyone in the team but when quizzed about Reo Hatate – who scored another brace – Ange was exemplary in his critique of the man from Japan. “Everybody knows he’s a good footballer – 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 so focused on being the best footballer he can be. We see that every day and he gets the rewards for it.”

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. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After a quickfire start that saw our courageous captain, Callum McGregor get on the scoresheet against the team from the North East, we settled really well and showed the Scottish Premiership side why were Champions. Ange said of the game: “I thought the first-half was outstanding and I thought our football was really exciting – good quality, working hard but really exciting as well,” said the Celtic manager.

“We scored a couple of goals and could have had a couple more quite easily. The second half was a bit of a grind for the first 15 or 20 minutes, but then we finished strong again, and the guys coming on made a big impact, so I was pleased. We had a chat about making sure we had a strong start today. I thought it was going to be important because Aberdeen are going through a bit of a transitional stage.

 Jota of Celtic heads at goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at on February 18, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“They’ve got some players there who haven’t experienced playing against us and I thought if we start really strong we could put them on the back foot, and the skipper set us off in that first minute and we didn’t look back after that. It’s been important to us,” the Hoops boss said of the importance of his bench. “We’ve been strong for a long time and that’s the key to it, that even if we do have a bit of flat spot, there’s people coming on who raise the levels again.

“They all want to play their part and they all want to contribute, and as I said, a contribution in the last 10 minutes is just as important as the first 80. That’s the way they’ve embraced it and I’m sure the ones who aren’t starting want to play but they also see an opportunity to play because 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 on all fronts in terms of the competitions, we need a strong squad and that’s what we’ve got.”

Daizen Maeda in action against Aberdeen. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Looking ahead to our showpiece Viaplay League Cup Final this Sunday at Hampden Park, Ange said: “That’s why you want to be in cup finals. It’s not just another week and it’s not just another normal build-up. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why you work so hard to get to these big games and it’s a game of massive consequence in terms of, there’s 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.”

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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