Ange Postecoglou praises 'important' Celtic newcomers who helped sink rivals and win cup

By Ben Evans

February 27, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has praised the impact of his subs after the team’s Scottish League Cup win over Rangers yesterday.

It was once again the Kyogo Furuhashi show, as his brace earned Celtic another final victory over their fiercest rivals.

Ange was speaking to the press, via Viaplay Sports, after the full-time whistle.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

He was quick to praise the entire squad as he won his second Scottish League Cup final on the bounce.

The Australian has been incredibly impressive since arriving at Parkhead and is picking up silverware at a rapid pace. He’s already won three trophies in his 18 months in charge and could add two more this season.

Although Kyogo stole the headlines, Ange highlighted the impact other Celtic players made, even those who didn’t start.

When Rangers got a goal back with half an hour left, it was up to Celtic to make sure they managed the tie. They certainly did that, as they prevented their opponents from creating any other clear-cut chances, in part due to changes made.

Ange praises three Celtic players who made late impact

Speaking to the press via Viaplay Sports, Ange said when asked about new players arriving and fitting in quickly: “They are. It doesn’t ease up, they know that. The guys that were here know that. You’re still expected to rock up next week and win again. That’s what it means to be at this football club. The players understand that, that’s why they’re here, they embrace that.

“It was important for us, the guys that were coming on. I thought Hyeongyu Oh, and even Tomoki Iwata at the end, I thought he did a good job for us at the end, sort of solidifying our midfield and Matty O’Riley coming on, it’s been a big part of our year.”

Hyeongyu Oh and Iwata have only been at the club for a month, but already have their first winners’ medals. They were fully earned.

Oh looked strong and up for the physical battle, helping Celtic keep territory in the Rangers half and giving his more defensive teammates a bit of breathing room.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The combination of Iwata, and O’Riley who joined last January, gave Celtic fresh legs in the middle of the park, making life difficult for an increasingly desperate Rangers.

O’Riley could have even sealed the result in the final minutes, but was denied when one-on-one with Allan McGregor.

Ange was clearly delighted with the impact the three players had for Celtic in those late moments, again emphasising Celtic’s success is down to the collective effort of an entire squad, not just a batch of regular starters.

Their full focus now has to shift to Sunday’s trip to St. Mirren as they look to maintain a nine point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

In other news, Callum McGregor’s ridiculous Hampden feat as captain makes late-night visit to Celtic trophy case.