Ange Postecoglou has insisted that it will take a natural course of time before our new look defence gel into a solid unit.
Now that the dust has settled and we can pick over the bones of what was a pulsating Europa League tie against Real Betis, it is axiomatic that defensive cohesion was the deciding factor in Spain. After sailing into a 2-0 lead, the game was then flipped on its head as we conceded two goals before half-time and then two immediately after. This frailty in defending has been a fixture in European competition for some time now, with many of Ange’s predecessors suffering the same fate.
However, Ange has insisted this is the signs of a side that is still finding it’s feet at this level. The big Aussie was very clear on his road map for Celtic.
“We set our stall out to be a certain kind of team, and at 4-2 we didn’t have any attacking players on the bench so I couldn’t really make any substitutions to make a difference.
“The players just had to suck it up, and they did that. At the end I thought we could get another one to get even, but it wasn’t to be. Tony Ralston has been outstanding, but he’s missed a few games.
“It was Cameron’s second game, Carl has just come in this year. It’s Josip’s third or fourth game. It’s going to take time for us to get that defensive understanding”.
“We’ll get some players back who are going to help us, particularly to settle the team down a bit.
“Hopefully over the next week to 10 days we’ll have three or four back”.
With Juranovic played out of position yet again and Starfelt and Carter-Vickers playing only their second game together, it seems perfectly plausible to expect this newly assembled defence to tighten up with the longer they play together. To score three goals away from home and leave with nothing is still a hard one to take, but the manager insists this is just the beginning of a long journey.
Ange continued: “We showed some resilience to show that irrespective of circumstances, we will be a certain kind of football team.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed we didn’t win tonight, I’m disappointed the players didn’t get their rewards, but it doesn’t deter my bullishness about where we’re heading.
“We’re just going to get stronger, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.
“What we did tonight is our baseline against a very good side.
All-in-all, we cannot be too disheartened with the performance of the Bhoys in the searing heat of Seville. It was always going to be an uphill battle with the amount of casualties we had going into this one. Having said that, the forward play and determination to take the game to a very astute side, showed signs of promise on the road ahead.
Sandman’s Definitive Ratings…
Don’t miss Sandman’s Definitive Ratings and his totally unique take on last night’s 4-3 defeat in Seville against Real Betis in the opening group match in this season’s Europa League…
Celtic Supporters’ Feedback…
“Considering we had no options off the bench and were missing 3 or 4 of our best players, I’d say a 4-3 loss to a very respectable Spanish side is not a terrible result. With our players back and at Celtic Park, we’d beat this lot.”
“We’re still with you, Big Man. In Ange we trust.”
“Early days in our rebuild with plenty of positives to take from a fantastic game with the personnel we had available. Thought Adam Montgomery handled his first start well and the managers style of play is there for all to see. Feeling very confident for the season ahead.”
“2-0 up and to lose 4 goals is disappointing, however happy with the direction Ange is taking us, will be an exciting season I hope.”
“Early days, so no panic we were missing our front 3 so basically we lacked pace and the front pressing, Abada, Kyogo, Forrest and the Greek lad to come in no panic.”
“We NEED to sort out the defensive structure but we are all behind you Ange. Great game to watch and a great advertisement for Celtic and Scottish football.”
“We played decent tonight considering we where away from home with 4 players missing. 3 goals away from home in Spain against a decent team isn’t the end of the world.”
“Proud we went toe-to-toe away to a quality Spanish side.”
“Not the result we wanted but the signs are there to see, keep up the good work Ange.”
“Can take a hell of alot off positives from this performance losing Calmac before the game was a massive blow. but we played well and without fear against a team which is going to do very well in this competition. Once we get wee Kyogo Abada & the big Greek back into contention along with Forrest we will be on fire. Jota is going to make teams especially in the spl look silly, that boy has flair.”
“Missing big players tonight head high it’s the home games we need to be winning away from home we were always up against it.”
“Congratulations to all the Celtic Bhoys, what a fantastic effort. Anybody who whinges about any aspect of that marvellous display, away from home, against a very talented opposition, isn’t being fair.”
“It’s first game there are 5 left we can still make it to the next round considering the quality of our goals it was just our defence.”
“Just reading the comments and it’s great to see our fans are OK with the loss because we can see what Ange is bringing to the team with a great performance, from a team that had so many first team regulars out, but I thought we could have passed quicker and pressed them more but we will have better nights coming so bring it on.”
“Well done team. You went out and showed, what we are about. Considering we had a few players out. Ange has had it tough since day 1. But I see this team coming together game after game.”
“So proud of the team, thank you Ange for giving us our pride back, starting to really love this squad of players.”