Ange Postecoglou lauds Celtic's "very, very brave" unsung hero

By John McGinley

January 31, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has praised Carl Starfelt after contributing to all five matches of the Bhoys’ current clean sheet streak.

Starfelt isn’t as celebrated as some of his teammates. That’s certainly true in comparison to the more attack-minded stars, but even those who line up alongside him in the defensive line.

Postecoglou has insisted, however, that even if he isn’t getting plaudits from observers and supporters, those inside the squad know exactly how important he is.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail [31/01 print edition, page 67], the Bhoys boss said: “Maybe externally, but internally he certainly does get recognition. Carl has been a cornerstone of our team since pretty much the day he arrived last year.

“He was one of the first players we signed. I guess he is a bit understated in the way he plays the game. He rarely gets beaten, he is always in the right areas and contributing both to our attack and our defence. And that is a credit to him, and to Cameron Carter-Vickers.

“They are committed to the way we want to defend. It’s not easy to defend in our team. We are constantly pushing the line but we want to be aggressive. It means a lot of one-on-one defending, defending without cover.

“You need to embrace that as a defender and be willing to put yourself on the line. They are both very, very brave in their position — as they need to be — and it is a credit to both of them. I don’t know if that side of our game gets overlooked but we certainly look on it as the foundation we build our football on.”

The Swede has certainly made his presence felt in recent weeks. With Carter-Vickers missing some minutes due to injury, as well as Greg Taylor, Starfelt has been a stalwart.

Celtic’s defensive work has been exceptional across the pitch with the attack and midfield often stifling opponents before they even get close to the Bhoys’ box.

Already possessing the best defensive record in the country, the hope will be for more clean sheets in the weeks ahead to extend the current streak, starting on Wednesday night at home to Livingston.

In other news, Callum Davidson left unhappy with Ryan Jack ‘outlaw’ tackle on Celtic loanee.