"It’s going for 95 minutes"; Relentless Celtic leave impression on Ross County

By John McGinley

August 6, 2022

Ross County boss Malky Mackay has admitted it’s been a difficult week for his team preparing for the intense test against Celtic this weekend.

The Staggies gave a good account of themselves in today’s Scottish Premiership clash in Dingwall but succumbed to two late goals after periods of dominance for the Bhoys in the 3-1 win.

Mackay recognised he was going up against a superior opponent and while he’s taking positives from his team’s performance, admitted Celtic were just too strong and are willing to take their efforts right to the end of games.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As quoted by The Press & Journal, the Staggies boss said: “It’s been a tough week in terms of the work we’ve done off the pitch in terms of the tactical messages I have given them and the footage we have watched. We play in a manner that doesn’t allow us to be carved open because we were playing against a Champions League team.

“We needed to play in a manner that negated what Celtic did. I felt we did that. At the same time we needed the belief to, at times, threaten their goal which we did. I’m disappointed near the end that we got to that point and they managed to get the winning goals. But overall I can’t be too harsh.

“They are very strong and that’s why we have had a tough week, sitting in rooms with my coaches for long periods looking at where and how we stop that tactically.

“I know exactly what the Celtic players are capable of and the ones that were coming on as well as the ones that were coming off. I thought we were excellent in the first half when they were nearly at their strongest, and how we played tactically. You are playing against a Champions League team and it’s going for 95 minutes – not for 86.”

Celtic’s ‘never stop’ attitude has become a famous hallmark of Ange Postecoglou’s reign so far. It even became the slogan for the club’s season ticket campaign over the summer.

But it’s not just marketing. The manager has tried to instil a steely and impressive desire in his team to relentless pursue the opposition, whether it’s in the first minute of a match or the 95th.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That’s actually not better demonstrated than in the build-up to today’s third goal. Celtic pressed Ross County into giving up possession in their own third before quick passing allowed Liel Abada the room to sweep home a wonderful curling effort from the edge of the box.

This was in injury time of the game when most teams would try to just cruise and see the win out. Not this Celtic team. And it seems our opponents know it better than anyone.

In other news, Joe Hart, Moritz Jenz and Kyogo take to Instagram after Celtic win.