Ange refuses to abandon tactics; explains Celtic team selection against Ross County

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has explained his tactics and team selection against Ross County.

The Hoops were left without a raft of players for tonight’s game against Ross County. Kyogo, Mikey Johnston, James Forrest and others were left out of the squad to face the Dingwall side.

Despite the lack of forward options, the Celtic manager insisted on his normal attacking 4-3-3. Full-backs Adam Montgomery and Josip Juranovic started in advanced roles, with Liel Abada starting in the middle.

Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

It shows a real steadfastness to an attacking ideology, and the versatility of the players available to Postecoglou. Josip Juranovic, for example, has now played in three different positions since joining the club.

Sharing his thoughts before the game, Postecoglou explained his selection and tactics, while showing respect to a Ross County side who have picked 3 wins in their last 6 games [WhoScored?].

Speaking to BBC Sportsound, Ange said [19.37]: “Yeah look, we won’t change much from our normal way of doing things. We’ve obviously freshened the team up a little bit, because I think we need some energy tonight.

“Particularly against Ross County who have been playing well.

“So we’ve brought in some fresh legs and hopefully that helps us gain some momentum.”

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A lot of managers would change their approach amidst mounting injuries, but Celtic boss Postecoglou remains committed against Ross County

Let’s be fair here, Ange Postecoglou could’ve changed his shape tonight and Celtic fans would’ve understood.

But what to? Without many attacking options, only a 3-4-1-1 would’ve really worked as a different option. The 4-3-3 is tried and trusted, and lends itself well to different positional roles. So, Ange stuck with it, and quite right.

As for the fresh legs angle, it’s an interesting one. There’s plenty of rotation, leaving the likes of Taylor and Rogic out. However, stalwarts including Carter-Vickers, McGregor and Turnbull have stayed in the team.

So respect is being shown to Ross County, make no mistake.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Even with all the injuries, and with due respect to Ross County, a win was absolutely imperative. And expected, for Celtic to keep apace at the top of the table.

In the first half at least, it worked. Liam Scales, overlapping on the left-hand side, found Abada in space to finish. It was exactly the kind of quick attack that Postecoglou would’ve looked for, after the Bhoys put the pressure on the hosts.

Winning games on the road can be tricky enough. It’s even worse when you’re missing your front line and have a Cup Final in a few days.

So, you have to say the boss has – so far – got his team bang on.

Read more: Celtic teammate at a loss over Vasilis Barkas’ difficult Hoops spell