"The pitch was horrendous"; Joe Hart delivers verdict on Celtic's Hampden win

By John McGinley

January 14, 2023

Joe Hart is delighted to have helped Celtic through to another cup final after playing a starring role in today’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Hampden.

Hart was called into action for a number of crucial saves in both halves, working hard to keep a clean sheet that was the basis for victory. It was one of his more notable performances of the entire season so far.

Speaking after the match, the goalkeeper credited the team for overcoming difficult conditions and a strong Kilmarnock performance.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Hart said [Celtic FC]: “It was a tough game – freezing, the pitch was horrendous, but we got it done and found a way. It was hard to get a good view of the goals, but they looked a little bit scrappy, but we got them over the line and made it happen.

“I thought Kilmarnock were really good today, they gave us a tough game. They had a lot of energy at the start, but we stuck to what we do, and what we do best.

“We kept playing, we defended when we needed to and we scored the goals when we needed to. It’s enjoyable, the boys defend really well, they don’t ask me to do much. So when I’m asked or called upon, I try my best to be there.

“You forget that there’s final at the end of this but you know how we work, it’s all about St Mirren now, we’ll deal with the final when we get to it.”

The pitch could be even worse in the second semi-final tomorrow based on the way it deteriorated today so it’s probably for the best that Celtic were up first.

It was a struggle enough during this 90 minutes, with the Bhoys’ natural game slowed significantly as a result of having to take extra touches or ball bobbling.

Hart is right though, in those circumstances it’s simply about making it happen by any means necessary. The grit Ange Postecoglou’s team has can sometimes be overlooked but it’s arguably its most prominent trait even through the attacking football.

Credit to the team for coming through a bit of Hampden chaos to get the result needed!

In other news, Derek McInnes left fuming in post-match interview as Celtic progress to final.