Ange Postecoglou is nothing if not consistent and the message he is sending out today ahead of tomorrow’s Glasgow Derby is the same one he’s issued ahead of any of the games played so far this season and it will be exactly the same in the forthcoming games against Real Madrid on Tuesday night and also Livingston next Saturday afternoon at Celtic Park.
That’s not to say that the Celtic manager doesn’t get the significance of the occasion tomorrow and just how much a victory will mean to the Celtic support. He only has to think back to that wonderful night in February when the full force of the atmospheric power created by the wall of noise from the Celtic support rattled theRangers side and played a significant part in the unforgettable first 45 minutes when two goals from Reo Hatate and one from Liel Abada were Celtic’s reward for a dominant team performance.
The Celtic support quite literally roared the team to the top of the league that night and we’ve been looking down on theRangers ever since. Ange explained his thinking once again at today’s Media Conference.
“What we’ve got to do is make sure we’ve grown into the season. We obviously knew it was a bit of a different start for us, with one game a week, but I think our performances have been getting strong every week. That’s what we’re looking for tomorrow,” the Celtic manager said. For him, it’s all about improvement.
“Improvement in our performance, improvement in the way we do things and play our football to overcome whatever challenge we have tomorrow that gets you three points, and then move on to the next challenge. From our perspective, the incentive is just to keep performing at the levels we have and keep improving on the park,” Ange said.
Every opponent is analysed, all are respected but ultimately for everyone at Celtic it comes down to how we play our football and that is the same whether the opposition is theRangers, Real Madrid or Livingston. So ultimately it’s not any more difficult facing up to theRangers, than it is playing any other side in the league and for our players the motivation should be the same regardless of who we are playing.
“I certainly don’t see it as any more difficult. You understand the impact it has particularly on our supporters in these games, but all that is pretty much irrelevant if you don’t play well. I’ve always laid stock in one thing, and that is you get out there and you play your football and try and be the best you can be. All this other stuff tends to take care of itself.
“If you need extra motivation tomorrow than you did on Wednesday night or that you may need on Tuesday night, then you’re never going to be successful. Our motivation has to be the same every time we’re out there.
“We understand the significance of it to our fans, we understand the significance of it in terms of the league, but that shouldn’t mean that we’re more motivated tomorrow than we were on Wednesday night and I haven’t seen any evidence of that from the players. They treat every game with equal respect and an equal desire to be successful,” the Celtic manager said.
🍀"If you need extra motivation tomorrow than you did on Wednesday night or you may need on Tuesday then you're never going to be successful…"
Ange Postecoglou looks ahead to Celtic's clash with Rangers after their deadline day signing of Oliver Abildgaard⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ojXeim44rz
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) September 2, 2022