Celtic boss delivers brilliant response to journalist's derby underdogs question

By John McGinley

August 27, 2021

Manager Ange Postecoglou has refused to define Celtic as underdogs heading into the match against Rangers on Sunday. In fact, he’s not a big fan of the concept at all.

The Ibrox side are undefeated in their last six meetings against Celtic, during which time we’ve only managed a solitary draw.

It’s dismal stuff and naturally it feeds a narrative that the Bhoys are far from favourites on Sunday, despite Rangers’ Covid-19 issues.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

For Postecoglou it’s not about underdogs and favourites, however. For the Celtic boss it’s about individual and collective belief from his squad of players.

Speaking to reporters today about the fixture, Postecoglou said [Celtic YouTube]: “I don’t like the whole underdog thing. It’s not something I really buy into. You go in already conceding you’re not up to a task and that it will take something extraordinary – that’s not how I see us. That’s not how I ever see us. I don’t think Celtic would ever see themselves as an underdog. They shouldn’t in any contest.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t respect the opponent or don’t understand there are major challenges going into every game. One thing I’m trying to instil here is that when you represent this football club every game is there to be won. Every game is an opportunity for us to impose our football.

Celtic to face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Europa League | LIVE Reaction

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“Favourites, underdogs becomes really irrelevant. What becomes important for me is belief. Belief in ourselves, belief in our football, belief in our football club and take every contest head on.”

Ange is in typically good form here. It’s media moments like this you understand exactly why he’s getting through to these players and producing performances. It’s by instilling the belief he talks about.

Celtic will go into this Ibrox encounter fighting for everything, that’s an absolutely guarantee. The result could go against us. We may not be able to impose ourselves in the manner we like. But it won’t be for lack of trying.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As the manager states, we can’t buy into a narrative of feeling like it’s an impossible task to beat Rangers in any contest. Even in front of a full Ibrox full of their supporters and none of ours.

It’s a mindset we’ve benefited from recently, with the manager talking in similar terms prior to the home match against AZ Alkmaar. That didn’t work out too badly for us.

More of the same on Sunday please.

In other news, What Artur Boruc has told Josip Juranovic about Celtic and the derby.