"It's not easy"; Postecoglou hails Celtic's character after hard-fought Motherwell win

By Dave Flanigan

November 10, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was full of praise for his team’s resilence after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park maintained their seven point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

The Scottish champions rushed into a now-trademark early lead through Kyogo Furuhashi’s simple finish after some excellent industry from Matt O’Riley, and thought they had the points safe through Daizen Maeda’s well-taken goal with five minutes to go, before Ross Tierney set up a nervous finish with an improvised volley for Motherwell.

There was some VAR controversy along the way, as a beautifully executed Jota goal was disallowed for a contentious offside, before Motherwell somehow weren’t reduced to ten men for a brutal Josh Morris lunge on Carl Starfelt, and once again, Postecoglou hailed his side’s intangibles on a tough night in South Lanarkshire.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As reported by The Scotsman, he said: “It was a bit of a grind tonight, we never really got into the rhythm we wanted, credit to Motherwell for really working hard. We didn’t start well and complicated things. We made the game difficult for ourselves but it’s not easy away from home so another win is good.

“They worked hard and disrupted us. When we’re playing well, we move the ball quickly and find simple solutions. We tried to be too cute, we didn’t play the obvious pass. We didn’t control the game the way we wanted to.

“We could play better but a big part of this team is their character when we’re not at our best. Winning away from home in the Premiership is never easy. I prefer to play well every game but over the course of a season that’s impossible. They’re human beings.”

Postecoglou also stated his belief that his side were unique in their ability to deal with their hectic calendar so far this season, winning all of their league games since the last international break.

He said: “We’ve had perfect league form in a period of real fixture congestion, including Europe, there won’t be many teams in Europe who have gone through that and had the results we’ve had.”

Celtic’s win at Fir Park was their 7th on the bounce in the Scottish Premiership since the shock 2-0 defeat to St Mirren in Paisley in September, and their stellar form has propelled them clear at the top of the table with their Glasgow rivals faltering in recent weeks.

Many of those wins have been hard-fought, by a single goal, or late clinchers, but Celtic’s character has been evident throughout, demonstrating all the signs of a side who have an unshakeable belief in themselves and their manager’s methods.

With just one match – at home to Ross County on Saturday – remaining before the league pauses for the World Cup, Postecoglou will be keen for his side to make it eight, putting them in pole position to defend their title, following the Qatar tournament.

In other news: Former Celtic star Ntcham handed surprise World Cup call-up