Ange identifies what Celtic have to do against "strong" in-form Ross County side

By Euan Davidson

March 19, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has faced and beaten plenty of in-form sides since arriving at Celtic, but Ross County do stand out as they ready themselves for Celtic Park.

In the recent past, we beat Livingston, who were an impressive run home and away. Though Rangers had dropped points prior to coming to Celtic Park, they were still in decent shape before being turned over 3-0. Hearts, when they came to Paradise in December, were still in the chase for second place in the Scottish Premiership. They, too, were dispatched.

As my colleague John McGinley pointed out last night, though, this is a wee bit different. Ross County are the third-best team in the league over the last 20 games, with goals from Regan Charles-Cook firing the Staggies far beyond the relegation dog-fight they seemed destined for.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou has given credit to Malky Mackay for the turnaround in fortunes, and he’s not resting on his laurels for today’s game. However, he knows what he needs from his Celtic side against Ross County today.

Ange said [Herald]: “I think Malky has done a great job.

“If you look at the way they started the season, most people would have written them off. He’s built a really strong stable unit and he’s got some threats up front who score goals. They are in good form and I’m sure they are eyeing a top six berth now.

“They are a good challenge for us. It was similar for us against Livingston. When you face teams on a good run of form it’s important we bring our own sort of energy and tempo to the game. When we’ve done that we’ve managed to overcome the challenges.”

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Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has never worried too much about what other teams are doing, that won’t change for Ross County

Respect is due, to be fair. The same way nobody would’ve had Celtic going 30 games unbeaten after our start, Ross County’s 21-22 campaign and how it began was far from promising.

They started the season on a ten game winless streak. Though Mackay was trying to implement a new style with his Staggies players, it didn’t happen quickly. The turnaround has been impressive, there’s no getting around it.

However, we’ve been told about the good form of other teams we’ve played against. As discussed, it’s not really been a huge issue for us. Almost every game we’re playing at the moment has come with a narrative about our opposition.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It is what it is. What’s more important, though, is examining the last game we played against Ross County. The Staggies went at us, succeeded in exposing a weakness, and very nearly grabbed a point.

Celtic remained consistent in their own approach, and found a winner very late on. That was testament to the belief the Bhoys players had in Ange’s system. In tempo, in intensity, in energy.

It makes sense to draw on that again. Every game right now is seismic, and Ross County are in good form.

But Ange knows how to beat this team.

Read more: What Ryan Christie and Kris Ajer have discussed since leaving Celtic