Ange Postecoglou delivers honest reaction to 3-0 Celtic defeat against Rangers

By John McGinley

May 13, 2023

Celtic headed into today’s derby against Rangers at Ibrox knowing that the result would not make an impact on the overall picture of their season, but there was still disappointment after losing by a 3-0 margin.

Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys were poor from the start again their arch-rivals, going behind early doors from a Todd Cantwell strike. John Souttar and Fashion Sakala added to the home side’s scoring after a number of missed Celtic chances at the other end.

Some of those who have acted as Celtic squad depth options for much of the season were given big starting opportunities but nobody stepped up to impress, or even get pass marks. That, combined with poor performances from trusted regulars, meant that the Scottish Premiership champions couldn’t grumble with defeat on the day.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic boss has his say on defeat to Rangers

Postecoglou hasn’t lost many derbies since arriving in Scotland and was understandably unhappy with how the 90 minutes panned out.

He told Sky Sports [14:50]: “It’s fair to say we’re disappointed. We didn’t perform at the levels we needed to today. There were a couple of critical moments where we should’ve got ourselves back into it but we didn’t. In the second half, we were desperate in our play rather than playing our football.

“Credit to Rangers. You’re facing a difficult opponent at their venue. The number of changes I made probably didn’t help in terms of some of the guys lacking a little bit of sharpness. At the end of the day, we weren’t good enough.

“Every game is a challenge, every game is an opportunity. Whether you’re on a good run or a poor run, it doesn’t mean that a performance has to flow from that. We’ve never felt like just because we’re playing well the next game will go well. We’ve had to work awfully hard at it to maintain those levels and we didn’t get to them today.

“It’s fair to say they were a little bit off it today. That’s part of the experience of playing for this football club. It’s relentless. You don’t get any easy introductions, we’ve thrown guys into derbies before that were their first game. It’s how you understand what it is to be a player for this football club. I learn all the time, mate, I never stop learning.”

Celtic have four remaining games this season, although only one of them really matters now – the Scottish Cup Final. The next three weeks against St Mirren, Hibernian and Aberdeen will all be in preparation for that Hampden date with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in June.

Postecoglou will certainly be hoping his team are sharper than they were today. It wasn’t good enough by any measurement. Thankfully, it didn’t damage our ambitions this season in the slightest.

In other news, North Curve release statement after Thursday night success; next steps in The Celtic End project.