Ange Postecoglou on what he'll tell his Celtic players after Hibernian stalemate

By David Walton

February 27, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has stated that his Celtic players “controlled” the game against Hibernian at Easter Road and that he’ll be telling his players exactly the same thing.

The Hoops produced a hugely disappointing display against the Easter Road side in a game we should’ve been more up for. A host of key players were rested in midweek against Bodo/Glimt, with one eye on the game this afternoon. However, Celtic looked laboured and struggled to create clear-cut chances in our first domestic slip-up of the year.

The result follows some poor performances over the course of February. Since beating Motherwell 4-0 at Fir Park, Celtic have struggled to produce their best against Aberdeen, Raith Rovers, Bodo/Glimt [x2], and Dundee respectively.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

However, despite the poor display, Ange says his feedback to the players will be a message of positivity as he reviewed the game. Speaking via Sky Sports Football [27/02, 2:23pm], Ange said: “I’m disappointed for the players that they didn’t get the rewards they deserved. Ultimately we controlled the game and it’s a difficult place to come and we didn’t get the goal we needed. Even towards the end, we had a couple of chances that just didn’t bounce our way.

“When there are a lot of bodies in the box it makes it difficult. The pitch isn’t great so all those kind of things, you need to be precise and we just didn’t get the bounce. We controlled the game, we played it in their half. On another given day it would’ve been a different result. I’m not a fan of it [teams slowing the game down]. I get why teams do it, but what do you do? That’s part of football and it’s part of the challenge.

“I don’t think we’ll forget about it [the performance and result]. I’ll let other people run the commentary on that. The feedback I’ll give the boys is that we controlled the game today away from home. Okay, we didn’t score, but from a performance perspective we’ve just got to keep doing that and we’ll get our goals.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic nowhere near productive enough in final third; Ange must see it

Watching that game, I never felt we had much control of it at all. We had control in areas of the park where Hibs were happy for us to have control. Yes, we ended the match with 61% possession [BBC], but are we really going to pretend we were in control?

We only had 13 shots in the game in total. 3 of those were on target. Only one of them forced Hibernian goalkeeper Matt Macey into any sort of decent stop. We have every right to be furious with what we just watched this afternoon.

Not because it’s dropped points. That can happen. It’s our first dropped points of the year so that in isolation is anything but a massive concern. However, what can’t be ignored is that our performances have been on the decline since the 4-0 mauling of Motherwell earlier this month.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange has to fix something. His key players are underperforming. The players we thought and still think will take us to the title have decided to ease off the accelerator. That’s the one thing we can’t do with Rangers breathing down our necks.

Thankfully, we won’t have too long to dwell on this one. St Mirren are next up at Parkhead on Wednesday night under new manager Stephen Robinson. They won’t give anything up for free, but it’s a huge opportunity for us to get right back on track and keep putting the pressure on our rivals.

In the meantime, there needs to be some feisty training sessions at Lennoxtown. Celtic’s performances are on a worrying decline and at a time of the season when we can’t afford more slumps.

In other news, John Hartson and Chris Sutton react to weak Celtic display at Hibernian