Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou explains Kyogo decision in derby

By John McGinley

August 29, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has admitted he probably should have started Kyogo Furuhashi through the middle of the Hoops attack against Rangers in today’s derby.

However, he’s told reporters that James Forrest’s absence meant his tactical options were limited.

At half-time, many supporters were crying out for Kyogo to be moved in off the left-hand side so his movement could cause a more direct threat to Rangers’ centre-back pairing.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

However, the manager waited until after the home side scored their winner to make his tactical change.

Kyogo did make an impact in that area towards the end of the game, but it was all too little, too late.

Asked about those substitutions after the game, he told The Daily Record: “I just felt the game would open up and Tommy would give us a little bit of a spark.

Rangers 1-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Rangers 1-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

“I just thought Kyogo would be much more of a threat down the middle, to be honest I probably should have started him there to begin with but obviously with Forrest out we’re a little bit short in the wide areas.

“That’s why we started with him out to the left but I knew with his speed getting Kyogo in the middle was going to cause them problems and that was the main reason. Partly it was them scoring the goal, obviously that changed things.”

With Postecoglou going some way to admit an error, we don’t need to labour this point too much. You can understand why he started Odsonne Edouard given his impact on Thursday night.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

However, in hindsight, having Kyogo causing problems in central areas throughout the full 90 minutes could have created more opportunities for the Bhoys.

It’s something that the manager can learn from and utilise in future big matches. We need to play to our best players’ strengths and, for me, Kyogo is far more effective as the player disrupting defences with clever movement and runs, rather than receiving the ball wide to create.

In other news, Portuguese journalist says Jota to Celtic “almost done”; loan deal includes buy clause.