“The Scottish Cup is special,” Ange Eyes the Prize

“The Scottish Cup is special. It’s another chance to win a trophy for this football club,” Ange Postecoglou stated at yesterday’s Media Conference ahead of today’s quarter-final tie against Hearts at Tynecastle which is fast approaching with a 12.15pm kick-off.

“It’s obviously an important part of Scottish football but this is an opportunity for us to get to another semi-final. We understand it’s a cup game with no second chances.

“I enjoy going to Tynecastle but I enjoy all the games. They all have different challenges. I enjoy every game I’m involved in, because the alternative is I’m not involved. It’s always a good atmosphere there. We have a few more fans there and that will add to the occasion, I’m looking forward to it and the players are as well,” the Celtic manager said.

Celtic got the better of Hearts on Wednesday night coming back from a goal down to run out comfortable 3-1 winners to maintain a healthy nine points lead at the top of the league looking down on theRangers, but that result will have little consequence this afternoon according to The Celtic manager.

“I don’t know if Wednesday will have any bearing on this one. It’s a cup tie and it’s always a different feel around them than the league games. There’s a little bit more of an edge.

“We’re away from home, which brings a different perspective. From our perspective it’s about making sure we perform. The other night we weren’t at our full best but we still had a strong mentality to get the job done.

“We wee disciplined in our approach and we’ll need that again tomorrow because we know how big a challenge it is. In cup games you have limited opportunity to fix it as it will be decided on the day. You have to have a really clear focus to get it done.”

Ange also responded to the cryptic comments coming from Liel Abada earlier this week regarding his lack of starts for Celtic this season. Speaking to an Israeli TV channel Abada remarked when asked about his lack of starts for Celtic as manager has used him more as an impact substitute, Abada relied “there are things behind it that people don’t know”.

Ange was asked about this and his thoughts on Abada and he reckons that there are no particular concerns regarding the Israeli winger at Celtic. “He’s fine mate. I just go with how they are playing and Liel is in a great space right now. He’s done very well for us and he can still improve. I’m not worried about him.

“They all have to be really strong across the year. All of the wingers have all played a part and they have all contributed to whatever combination has started or come on, which is great for us.

“We will need them at the moment. Some people think it’s a bit of a luxury to have all of these guys and they have all been fit for a while but it shows it can change quickly.

 Daizen Maeda of Celtic scores the team’s first goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on March 08, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“James Forrest is out and Daizen Maeda is a doubt for the weekend, so you see why we need plenty of cover.”

Assuming Daizen Maeda is not risked today that leaves Liel Abada, who started in the 3-1 win over Hearts, competing with the two players who came off the bench – Jota (for the injured Maeda) and Sead Hakšabanović who replaced Abada and made a great case for a starting slot today with that fabulous third goal which put the game to bed.

Abada could well find himself back on the bench this afternoon but we’ll know for sure at 11am when Celtic post the team news.

Matthew Marr’s debut Celtic book – ‘The BOULD BHOYS – Glory to their name’ comes out on to Friday 24 March. Thanks to everyone who has ordered since we announced the book on Monday evening via an interview with the author. Please note that all pre-ordered books will be personally signed by Matthew Marr and you can order below if you’d like a signed copy posted out to you 24 March.


READ THIS...‘The Bould Bhoys – Glory to their name’ by Matthew Marr

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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