Ange Postecoglou delighted with work ethic of young Celtic side

By Euan Davidson

August 18, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has praised the work ethic of a comparatively young Bhoys side, following an emphatic win over AZ Alkmaar.

On the night, Celtic were just too good for the Eredivisie side. A goal from the unerringly prolific Kyogo Furuhashi, and another strike credited to James Forrest, put the Hoops in a great place to qualify for the Europa League.

All over the park, the sheer energy and commitment from Postecoglou’s players was clear to see. From a Celtic Academy perspective, that effort was epitomised by Stephen Welsh and Anthony Ralston.

The delighted manager spoke to Celtic TV after full-time. He said [Celtic TV]:

“In the midst of a really heavy programme of football, and guys, you know, we keep going to the well with them. And they keep producing. Outstanding.

“The spirit they showed tonight, when physically, I think a few of them were pretty much running on empty, they never stopped. It’s a great sign for the future.

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“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

“The players are giving everything every game. There’s no doubt about that. Now we’ve just got to push through.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is right to credit work ethic of players

We hate to hark back to last season. But, suffice it to say, AZ Alkmaar would’ve handled us comfortably in 20-21.

It was the urgency, the work ethic and the belief of the players that won the game tonight. An unadulterated focus on attacking football, constantly threatening the opposition goal and defending our own with unyielding vigour; all of that counted tonight.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

So, the normally understated Postecoglou is right to dish out the superlatives tonight. Celtic were, indeed, outstanding.

It works both ways, though. For these players to work hard, they need the motivation and the belief instilled from a manager who trusts them to carry out his style of football.

Very few, if any of us, would’ve expected it to take so quickly. Certainly not pundits, including the typically honest Michael Stewart. Even the most vocal critics of Postecoglou’s hiring are surely considering their opinions.

Yes, there’s a lot of the season to go. The proof will be in how long Celtic can sustain this kind of gung-ho, frenetic pace.

However, for tonight at least, Postecoglou is quite entitled to bask in the glow of a very, very satisfying European win.

Read more: Heartbreak in Trondheim for hard-working Celtic