Ange Postecoglou explains what he told his Celtic players at half-time yesterday

By David Walton

October 20, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has explained what he told his Hoops players at half-time yesterday as they overcame Ferencvaros 2-0 at Parkhead.

The Hoops managed to bag a big win against the Hungarian champions through a sparkling second-half performance. A Kyogo Furuhashi goal was added to by a Balint Vecsei own goal to ensure Postecoglou could fist pump his way down the tunnel at full-time.

However, despite the fact it could’ve been 4 or 5 in the second-half, it came after a largely subdued opening 45 in which Celtic were nowhere near at the tempo needed.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But Postecoglou has disclosed what he told his players as his half-time comments came prophetically true after the restart.

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Speaking via the BBC Scottish Football Podcast, Postecoglou said: “I could tell Ferencvaros were working very very hard in the first half to stifle us. They did a good job, but they used a lot of energy to do that.

“I sort of said to the guys at half-time that’ll pay dividends for us. If we start moving the ball a bit quicker, they’re not going to be able to close the gaps like they were in the first half. I really felt as the game wore on we were getting more and more opportunities if we were moving the ball more quickly.

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“We got stronger towards the end and at 2-0 the game was pretty much over. We were still trying to get the 3rd and 4th, probably should’ve, because I knew all that energy they used in the first half to try and minimise our threats would pay dividends if we stayed disciplined.”

Ange Postecoglou gets Celtic vs Ferencvaros instructions bang on

We can all reflect on the game and performance and be overcome with joy now. A packed European (eh, afternoon?) in front of a packed Celtic Park that ends in a comfortable enough win. It’s not exactly a story that will come with too many negatives attached regardless of the opposition.

But the first half yesterday was anything but ideal. In fact, you could see it was a worrying flashback to some of the more recent stale displays before the 3 match winning run kicked off.

Celtic were unable to get Kyogo Furuhashi into the game whilst Liel Abada was getting no joy down the right. Only Jota was providing something of a spark, and even then it was waning due to the slow tempo being provided by the team as a collective.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But the manager changed it all around in the second half. He was able to make the in-game tweak that was needed to win the match. It would’ve been easy to rush to the bench, but that was never the issue.

His Celtic players responded to his half-time message and produced a display that can only be considered dominant. How we didn’t leave Parkhead with a 3-0 or 4-0 winning margin is anyone’s guess.

But it’s reassuring to know Postecoglou was anything but satisfied with the first half yesterday. Having the ability to turn games around that don’t start well for us is exactly the kind of trait we’re going to need if we want the title back at Parkhead this season.

In other news, Joe Hart’s post-match Celtic interview has left supporters offering their affection