Ange Postecoglou takes big positive from Celtic draw vs Rapid Vienna
Ange Postecoglou has had his say on Celtic’s 3-3 draw with Rapid Vienna, describing the intensity of the fixture as exactly what he wants from a pre-season encounter.
The first half of the match in particular felt far from friendly with the Bhoys’ international contingent thrown into a physical and combative battle with the Austrians.
The team held their own but you could tell Rapid are a team coming to the end of their pre-season preparations.
Goals from Matt O’Riley, Kyogo Furuhashi and David Turnbull pushed the team towards victory but defensive lapses ultimately resulted in a 3-3 draw in a back-and-forth match.
Reflecting on the encounter, Postecoglou told Celtic TV: “Yeah, it was a good game. It didn’t feel like a friendly game – both teams were going at it. It’s exactly what you need because sometimes friendly games can be a bit passive.
“Both halves, both teams were going at it. It felt like a real game. Whenever you play away from home in Europe it’s a challenge. For us, it was a great exercise.
“We did well in some parts, other parts we need to improve obviously. The key thing for me is it was a good contest.
“Today was a good challenge against an opposition who have had more preparation than us. We want to make sure in three weeks time we’re ready.
“There were some positive moments and some areas to improve. We got stuff we can take out of that game and work on and give feedback to the boys, both positive and stuff we need to reinforce.”
All of this is in service of making sure Celtic hit the ground running for Aberdeen and beyond, so hopefully the group put all the learnings to good use over the next couple of weeks.
Pre-season is about a lot more than fitness. That’s a huge part, but Postecoglou will be hoping to iron out any problems well in advance of it them causing jeopardy in competitive action.
Today was an important step towards that.