"We're not working as hard"; Ange Postecoglou's honest reaction after Celtic draw with St Mirren

By John McGinley

May 20, 2023

Celtic have now failed to win three of their last four Scottish Premiership matches after St Mirren secured a point at Celtic Park this afternoon.

It seems having done all the hard work to secure a back-to-back title win, some of Ange Postecoglou’s players have taken their foot off the gas – and opponents are capitalising.

Striker Curtis Main was the thorn in the Bhoys’ side today, netting twice in the first half to cancel out Kyogo Furuhashi’s fine opener and send his side into the interval 2-1 up. Celtic pushed for goals in the second half but had to rely on a long-range Callum McGregor strike to avoid defeat. This recent league form is not damaging but it is far from ideal in the build-up to a huge Scottish Cup final.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou has his say on Celtic vs St Mirren

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland post-match, Postecoglou said of the result [17:26]: “It was a tough game. St Mirren worked hard and that’s why they are where they are. We never really got to grips with the game, it was a bit of a struggle all the way through for us. It’s fair to say we’ve gone off it a little bit in the last couple of weeks, particularly in the defensive side of the game. When you do that it’s very hard to play the football we want to.

“It’s not one player, it’s got nothing to do with Cameron Carter-Vickers. We’ve missed him before, we played Champions League football without Carter-Vickers. That’s the easy thing to look at. That’s not how we view things. We’re not working as hard off the ball as we were prior to winning the title. And when you don’t that’s what happens. You can’t dominate games of football like we did.

“We pride ourselves on being relentless and you can’t just be relentless when you have the ball. For us, it’s actually more important we are when we don’t have it – and we haven’t been relentless the last few weeks. It’s natural, but we’ve still got games to play. If that’s your attitude going in it’ll be a struggle. The whole premise of what we do is not to be reactive to circumstances, but to be consistent in what we do.”

Next up for Celtic is a trip to Easter Road to take on Hibernian before hosting Aberdeen on a joyous trophy day next weekend. Getting back to winning ways and building momentum ahead of our upcoming Hampden clash is crucial.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how much Postecoglou rotates the team ahead of finding his preferred eleven to face Inverness CT.

In other news, Chris Sutton makes Celtic Champions League prediction.