Ange Postecoglou plays down Livingston narrative ahead of vital Celtic away trip
Ange Postecoglou isn’t buying into the idea that Livingston will shut up shop completely when Celtic visit on Sunday.
The Tony Macaroni Arena has been a famously tough battleground for the Hoops, who haven’t won there since Livi returned to the top-flight in the 2018. The winless streak goes back to 2007, albeit Livingston were demoted to the bottom tier and had to climb back up.
Given recent performances against us, it’s tempting to foresee a stuffy, park the bus type of affair from Martindale’s side. But Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t necessarily in agreement.
Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]: “I think it’s underplaying them a little bit to say that Livingston will just frustrate us.
“If you look at their recent form, they’ve got some attacking threats as well.
“David [Martindale has] done a great job with them this year, for them to be in the position they are, I think they’ll take a lot of confidence.
“It’s easy to dismiss them as just going to try and frustrate us, I think they’ll have a go at us as well. We’ve got to be ready for that. From our perspective it’s about maintaining the disciplines we’ve had around our game plan, playing our football, and finding solutions within that.”
Ange is right to identify that Livingston could cause Celtic other problems
It feels as though we’re collectively looking to this Livingston v Celtic game with a sense of overwhelming dread.
Maybe it’s because when Livi came to Celtic Park, it was a chronically dull encounter, especially when it came to Ange and the standards we’ve become used to. The Bhoys had a ridiculous 85% of the possession, with 16 shots and an xG of 2.06 [Fotmob].
It’s on Celtic to win these close ones. Nice as it is to win by bigger score-lines, the 3 points count all the same. Creating as much as we did at Celtic Park in October and not scoring is on us, not because Livingston played an extremely low block and set out to frustrate us.
Ange is right, too: it’s not as if Livingston haven’t scored goals. Fine, they’re not Cruyff’s Barcelona Dream Team, but they’ve put the ball in the net 32 times this season [BBC]. More than Hibs or Dundee United, two teams not necessarily associated with pragmatism.
We know that Livingston can be dangerous going forward. It’s going to take everyone to provide both defensive and attacking impetus to gain a vital three points on Sunday.