Ange Postecoglou namechecks 3 Celtic standouts today; one had to overcome bad pitch

By John McGinley

December 26, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou paid tribute to the skill and determination of Tom Rogic today after the Australian attacking midfielder stepped up when the Bhoys needed him.

Rogic was a wizard with the ball at McDiarmid Park despite an awful grass pitch that was dry, bumpy and patched over with sand.

Kenny Macintyre of BBC Radio Scotland asked Postecoglou about the player’s ‘masterclass’ performance that showed ‘football intelligence’, to which the Bhoys boss responded: “Yeah, and some character. This is not a pitch that would suit someone like Tom.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“He knew we needed him today. We needed Nir Bitton and James McCarthy, the more experienced guys in the team, to guide us through today and I thought they were great.

“I’ve seen it all so I know something unexpected can come along. But I thought we controlled the game for large parts and we were more likely to score again as the game went on. In the end I think it was a deserved three points.”

The stamina and consistency that Rogic is showing right now is arguably something we have never seen from him in a Celtic shirt.

St. Johnstone 1-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

St. Johnstone 1-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

He’s completed three 90 minutes over the last week, demonstrating that previous grievances about his fitness or ability to play for long stretches in a busy schedule are no longer valid.

Likewise, McCarthy silence a few doubters today. There’s no doubt the Republic of Ireland international still has a lot to prove in a Celtic shirt, but today was a good start. If he can play like that consistently he may well turn out to be a good signing.

As for Bitton? Well he’s just been impressive across the board this season. Given the captain’s armband today, he led by example and even got on the scoresheet. Well in, Nir!

In other news, Ange Postecoglou delivers verdict on Joey Dawson’s Celtic debut.