Michael Stewart delivers class verdict on Celtic and Ange Postecoglou after Hearts win

By David Walton

December 2, 2021

Michael Stewart has delivered a superb post-match Celtic verdict as he labelled Ange Postecoglou “the real deal”.

The Hoops again had to show character to see off Hearts in a big 1-0 win at Parkhead tonight. A solitary first-half goal from Kyogo Furuhashi was enough to put the Jambos to the sword and move us back to within 4 points of Rangers at the top of the Premiership.

Even more promisingly was how Celtic managed to see the game out under real pressure from Robbie Neilson’s men. Postecoglou’s men showed real character to be able to control the closing stages and take the points in a fixture that’s never straightforward.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And Stewart hasn’t been slow to react to the display as he bigged up Postecoglou’s work at Celtic Park so far.

Speaking via BBC Sportsound [21:42], Stewart said: “For Celtic, the cheer that went up at the end of the game, that shows you that they recognise this was a very tight game. A huge three points for them.

“Ange Postecoglou is the real deal for me. This is a Celtic side that are progressing, there is no question of that. They’ll strengthen in January as well, there are areas of the park that they need to, and they will. But the biggest thing for me is they’ve got a manager who clearly has the team on his side. They want to play for them and they’re progressing. They’re getting better.”

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Michael Stewart hits the nail on the head; Celtic get the win they deserve

The truth is this was totally deserved from Celtic tonight. They bossed the first half and rose to the challenge presented from them by Hearts in the second. They had to get physical and had to show a lot of composure to control the game the way they did in the closing stages.

Credit to Hearts for their approach too. I’ll admit I was the first to mock Robbie Neilson when he claimed his side would go for it tonight. But go for it he did, and it showed as Hearts gained a lot more territory in the second half as they pushed their attackers right up.

But the way in which it was managed by Ange and his team was brilliant. Considering the injury knocks suffered, Celtic still looked the better side in the closing stages. We’d had to deal with some real mental blows with the likes of Anthony Ralston, Jota, and Stephen Welsh all coming off.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But we came through it and showed the mentality of champions to get the 3 points in the back. When we reflect on this one, it’ll be known for how Celtic managed to live up to the battle and grab a deserved win. It won’t be known for the fact Hearts had some chances.

It’s yet another notch on Postecoglou’s belt too. It follows a big win against Aberdeen at the weekend and takes us to 8 wins in our last 9 domestic matches. That’s a level of consistency that’s going to have you fighting for titles come the summer.

Fingers crossed Postecoglou isn’t having to count up the injury problems tonight. We would like to think not all of the players who had to come off will be forced to sit out for a prolonged period of time.

But let’s just enjoy tonight for what it was – a tremendous battle in which we came out on top.

In other news, Celtic supporters left in total awe of Tom Rogic after making “a huge difference” vs Hearts