"Nobody left"; Jackie McNamara delighted with what he's seeing under Ange at Celtic Park
Celtic legend Jackie McNamara played in some fine Bhoys teams during his illustrious career, but he also knows a thing or two about supporting the club.
The Bhoys’ support have been raucous all season long, providing brilliant backing to the Hoops. There are, though, moments we all know, when the game isn’t going quite how we want it to, and it feels as though the team are playing within themselves.
Take, for example, the Dundee United home game. Although Liel Abada caused utter pandemonium at Celtic Park very late on, there was a restless feel in the stands prior to that goal. For much of the game, it looked as though a win wasn’t coming Celtic’s way.
It’s par for the course, part of the emotion of following football. The key thing, though? Supporters are staying right to the end, and are backing the Hoops for every second.
McNamara believes that Celtic fans are very much wired in and know that this Hoops side is more than capable of stealing a dramatic winner.
Speaking exclusively to 67 Hail Hail, McNamara said: “I think what was evident the last few games, even the Dundee United [home] game, nobody left.
“They didn’t turn round after 70 minutes [saying] “this is no our game today”. They stayed right to the end because they know the team’s capable of getting goals late on, they have that confidence in the team as well.
“I think they get a wee bit anxious because of the frustrations at times there, they’re just desperate to win, to get the game over and done with and on to the next one. Patience is obviously key, that’s what Ange is saying to the players, just believe in what we’re doing and how we’re going about it.
“As a player, I wouldn’t say you’d go into your shell. The fans are a good judge to see how the game’s going as well. I wouldn’t say it was something bad against the team [when fans are restless], just a frustration there, because they know [the team] are so much better than what they’re showing at that point, and just desperate for the team to well.
“It’s different if they’re sitting there booing every time you get the ball, but there’s none of that.”
Jackie McNamara is bang on: Celtic supporters know there’s going to be a show, but it might come right at the end
It’s fair to say Jackie McNamara has a pretty excellent read on the Celtic supporters. He is one, after all, and is one of the favoured ex-players involved in media.
He’s right, too; though there are moments of frustration, generally speaking, Celtic fans are finely attuned to the fact goals might come late. Especially against teams that have limited us and defended deep for the duration of matches.
More often than not though, Celtic have found a way. The Celtic supporters know that better than anyone else. And it goes to show the belief the Hoops faithful have in their manager and players that they’re staying put right until well after the final whistle.
This season, in particular, scenes after games have sometimes been the best part. The players are more than happy to receive the adulation of the supporters after a win, and even the humble Ange Postecoglou has made it clear he appreciates us. Repeatedly, in fact.
Anxiety is normal. Tension is normal. It’s part of the experience.
But Jackie McNamara has it right; there’s a real bond between us and the Celtic supporters. It’s definitely not as if we’re booing.