Ange Postecoglou brilliantly puts down Robbie Neilson's Celtic v Hearts narrative

By Euan Davidson

December 1, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has rejected any talk of “shiny objects” and statement games ahead of Celtic facing Hearts tomorrow night.

The manager was in a fun sort of mood speaking to the media today. While he gave some insightful comments about training and coaching during a busy spell, he wasn’t going to indulge talk of title races.

Instead, his message remains consistent; win the next game, then think about the one after.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Robbie Neilson said he was aiming for his Hearts side pip Celtic to second place, saying that it was “up for grabs” ahead of tomorrow night [Daily Record]. However, nothing is won in November, and Ange is focused on the bigger picture.

Asked about Robbie Neilson’s comments about the league table, Postecoglou was typically wry [Celtic FC]:

“I think my players are just looking forward to a game at Celtic Park and playing our football and winning, mate. Statement games are at the back-end of the year.

“Let’s just keep our pistols in our holsters for a little while and just, we’re going to play each game as we have so far. I’ve said a few times, you can get distracted by so many shiny objects everywhere.

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“What we want to do is make sure that when we play our football, and the game day’s on, we’re ready for that challenge.

“If you start thinking that somehow a result tomorrow gets you something shiny and glittery, then you lose focus on what’s important. Our form’s been good because we’re concentrating on and respecting every opponent.

“That’s what we’ll do tomorrow.”

Ange Postecoglou in subtly hilarious form ahead of Celtic v Hearts

God bless Ange.

He’s sometimes characterised as a grumpy taskmaster, but the way he has fun with the media and shoots from the hip is genuinely refreshing.

Of course he’s right, it’s possible to be focused on Celtic v Hearts tomorrow night and be focused on the bigger picture.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Nobody’s going to hand us a trophy tomorrow if Celtic beat Hearts, but they will if results are consistent and we take each as it comes.

Yes, fine, “we go game by game” is a cliché, but it is for a reason. Not getting swept up in title talk early is absolutely crucial.

With the demands on these Celtic players and the manager, it would be incredibly risky to get caught up wondering about silverware.

That’s the trap that’s vital to avoid. So far, Postecoglou is doing that, and in typically sardonic fashion, too.

Read more: Josip Juranovic brilliantly labels Celtic career “the best time of my life”