Ange brilliantly hammers home the reality of Reo Hatate and his Celtic situation

By David Walton

March 20, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has moved to outline the reality of Reo Hatate’s Celtic start and the need to be patient with him.

Hatate burst onto the scene with goals against Hearts and Rangers in his first few games as a Celtic player. However, in recent weeks he’s struggled to get going.

Misplaced passes, losing possession too easily, and a lack of any real goal threat have been noticeable in his game in recent times. And it’s left many who were previously unaware of the player before his January arrival wondering whether he truly will be the real deal.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yesterday’s 4-0 hammering of Ross County, however, showcased all of Hatate’s good qualities. Celtic fans will be hoping this is a return to form, but Ange Postecoglou has laid out the reality of his current situation. Speaking at a presser in which 67HailHail were in attendance, Ange said the following when asked about Hatate by the Celtic Exchange:

“I get how people measure these things and I get how supporters and others will look at it. For me, what’s more important is that it takes time for players to understand how we want to play. It takes players time for players to adjust to a new environment.

“He started off really well with the output he had in terms of the beginnings of his career here. But we didn’t buy him for the first 2 months of his career. He’s still a young guy, he’s still got a lot of development. He’s still got a lot of improvement to do. But he’s learning the right way.

Celtic 4-0 Ross County | Full-Time Reaction

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“He’s out there battling, he’s making his mistakes and dusting himself off and getting back up. For all of our guys, even Matt O’Riley and Daizen – those guys didn’t come in for the last few months of the season, they’re here for the long-term and we’ll keep working with them.”

Reo Hatate was always going to need some patience from Celtic critics

The goals against Hearts and Rangers, in a way, worked against Hatate. Many believed that, because of those efforts, he was going to be performing at an insane level of a weekly-basis. That’s why everyone has been so taken aback by his loss of form. His standards were ridiculously high back in January and February.

The only issue is that it sent everyone into total panic mode once it became clear Reo needed time to settle.

Yet the truth is, the form of Kyogo and Daizen Maeda probably didn’t help either. It made many believe that those coming from the J-League generally don’t need time to adapt to Scottish football. That they could easily come into the environment of the Premiership if they were good enough and make a solid impact.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hatate has certainly made a positive impression, but it’s clear patience is needed before he produces his best stuff. This is still a totally different footballing environment and life culture to what he experienced back in Japan. Not every individual is going to deal with that in the same manner.

So Ange is spot on here. It’s vital to remember that Hatate signed for Celtic on a 4-and-a-half-year contract back in January. He’s here for the long-term, not for just a few months. Therefore, it’s important to remember that when it comes to judging him.

Thankfully, he was back to his best against the Staggies. Here’s hoping he can keep it up when we head to Ibrox in 2 weeks’ time.

In other news, Ross County boss yet again fails to give Celtic much credit; gets his analysis all wrong