Ange Postecoglou names 3 players he feels will help boost Celtic against Midtjylland

By David Walton

July 20, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has namechecked Nir Bitton, Ryan Christie, and Odsonne Edouard as 3 players who could give Celtic a real boost against Midtjylland this evening.

Bitton and Christie both sat out Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Preston North End. Edouard, meanwhile, came on for the final half-hour as we looked to find a leveller.

The key concern heading into tonight’s second qualifying round against the Danes is our lack of experience. Celtic look far too top-heavy with kids after a pre-season in which a host of youth players were given regular minutes.

However, Postecoglou has eased any fears regarding a youthful team selection tonight. He’s explained how he’s going to be relying on the experienced boys tonight, and namechecked the three Celts as players who will help us this evening.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Postecoglou said: “It has been a challenging time, and to be fair to the young players, we’ve had to play them in these games as we’ve been down on numbers. It wasn’t about judging them, it was more about exposing them to what it’s like playing for this club. My expectations for them were not anything great.

“But we’ll have a few players available who we’ve been kind of holding back because they haven’t been 100% right. I hope the team we put out is ready for a tough contest.

“We’ll probably be relying on the core members of the squad rather than the youngsters. The likes of Christie and Bitton trained and they will certainly help us. The same goes for Odsonne. He had a bit of niggly injury that kept him out of training for a few days. But he got half an hour [against Preston] at the weekend and he’s rebounded really well in training.”

Ange Postecoglou must be given leeway for Celtic vs Midtjylland

It goes without saying that we all hope Celtic can get the job done tonight. They have enough talent in their ranks to see off Midtjylland should Postecoglou’s team click.

However, there is an undoubted pessimism heading into this one. This simply comes from a failure to strengthen in key positions. Anthony Ralston will likely start at right-back whilst Stephen Welsh and Nir Bitton look certain to partner each other tonight at the back. Simply put, we aren’t as strong as we should be.

If things do go wrong tonight, and that’s always a possibility, it’s vital that Postecoglou is given some leeway. We would all surely be prepared to admit that a failure to get the job done tonight wouldn’t be on him.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

When you consider he’s been demanding new signings in ever since he joined, he’s just as keen for Celtic to be strengthened. If we do slip up tonight in his first game in charge, it’s important the supporters remain patient with the new boss. He’ll have enough enemies outside of the football club.

But it looks as though he has a plan for this evening in any case. We may be short in numbers, but there should still be enough senior players available to get the job done.

So here’s hoping Postecoglou gets off to a rip-roaring start as Celtic manager.