Matt O'Riley describes the defiant mood in Celtic dressing room ahead of Real Madrid

By John McGinley

September 6, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has insisted that his teammates have a belief they can beat Real Madrid tonight.

O’Riley was the player selected for official UEFA media duties yesterday and gave some fascinating insight into their mentality and support for Ange Postecoglou’s tactical approach.

More than anything, it just came across that O’Riley really reckons that tonight’s visitors can be humbled, despite their reputation and status as Champions League holders.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In fact, this belief is an open topic of discussion amongst the players, revealing that at lunch yesterday there was a defiant mood.

As quoted by The Scotsman, O’Riley said: “We were all just there. Naturally, people are starting to think about it more now. It came up in conversation. I heard someone saying: ‘I think we have got a good chance’. We all just bit on it and agreed. We are not going to go into the game and not give it a go.

“If we don’t believe we can win, you will be able to see that right from the off. Hopefully, you will see a team that is right on it and really wants to win.

“Celtic are a big club. We have got a star on our badge as well you know. That says something in itself. To be honest, when you’re at Celtic Park with the atmosphere in those stands anything can happen. It’s been proven in the past. So why not?”

That Postecoglou has the players in a position to think like this speaks volumes for the progress that has been made at the club in the last 15 months.

I don’t think anyone would be that surprised if Real Madrid beat us tonight, but the fact we are actually looking forward to making them work for it and potentially give them a fright is fantastic.

If the players can attack this game with aggression, belief and no fear there is no reason to write us off before kick-off. Let’s do this, Bhoys!

In other news, Misfortune and heavy defeat for Celtic youths vs Real Madrid in wild Airdrie conditions.