Ange Postecoglou reacts to 74th Celtic win in 100 games after Hearts soundly beaten

By John McGinley

March 8, 2023

Tonight was Ange Postecoglou’s 100th game in charge of Celtic and, typically, the occasion was marked with a win. The Bhoys were victorious by a 3-1 margin against third-placed Hearts, despite conceding early on from a Josh Ginnelly header.

Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Sead Haksabanovic were all on the scoresheet, delivering Postecoglou’s 74th competitive win since joining in the summer of 2021.

Postecoglou sits second in the list of Celtic managers when it comes to all-time win percentage, just behind Martin O’Neill. While there’s important context to that, particularly in comparison to the fourth-placed Jock Stein who remains the greatest manager Celtic have ever had, it’s an impressive record nonetheless.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic just keep winning under Postecoglou

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland [21:56], the Celtic manager reflected on the win, stating: “It was well earned. We had to work hard for them tonight. We had to work ourselves into the game, we didn’t hit a good rhythm from the start. I have to take some responsibility for that because I made changes which always disrupts things. I thought we looked a little bit disjointed at the start, so we had to earn it. Ultimately the boys showed a really strong mentality and we scored three excellent goals to win.”

Asked specifically about Celtic’s satisfying second goal, Postecoglou said: “We have to show both sides of the game, it’s not just with the ball but without the ball. Jota wins the ball back and I think all our attacking players understand that’s part of their role in the team. It was a great bit of defensive work by him and then great composure to play the right pass.”

And on tonight’s team rotation, the Bhoys boss added: “This week was always going to be a bit tight for us with three games between the six days, we knew we would have to rotate the squad a little bit. It was a bit difficult this time because we haven’t had a mid-week game so the guys coming in, particularly the full-backs, hadn’t played for quite a while. It was tough for them to be thrown in like that but it was something we had to do today. Hopefully we get a clean bill of health tonight and I get some fresh bodies coming in for Saturday.”

Celtic will be going for win number 75 of the Postecoglou era against the same team, Hearts, this weekend. It’s a big Scottish Cup quarter-final in front of more than 3,000 Celtic away supporters at Tynecastle, which should provide a vibrant atmosphere.

Given the team’s incredible form, Celtic will be heading into it as red-hot favourites. Postecoglou’s side look unstoppable right now and while it always requires hard work and focus to overcome any opponent, it will require something special from Hearts to get past us on the way to Hampden.

In other news, The class Celtic squad heading to Anfield as Mikael Lustig joins the party.