Ange Postecoglou predicts elite-level breakthrough for Celtic
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is confident that the goals and wins will come for his team at the elite level of European competition as he continues the process of improving the Bhoys.
Celtic managed to create a bunch of chances against both Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk in recent matches but only had one goal to show for their efforts, which ended up being classified as an OG. It has naturally led to a bit of discussion about what’s needed for Celtic to show a more lethal edge in Europe, with four massive matches still remaining in Group F.
Postecoglou sounds relaxed about the situation and, as we know, he’s often a perfectionist when it comes to his assessment of where his squad stand.
Addressing the issue, the manager told The Scottish Daily Mail [17/09 print edition, page 108]: “Look, it (scoring goals) is the hardest part of the game and the higher level you go, the more difficult it is. There aren’t many players who score consistently at Champions League level and take every opportunity. The ones that do are the most priceless assets in football.
“We are building towards something but, if we keep producing performances and creating chances, our players will adjust to that level and score the goals to win games. It’s still a process. People need to understand that. Twelve months ago, a lot of these boys who played the other night hadn’t played anywhere near this level. They’ve made enormous progress over the last year, individually and as a team, so we want to make sure we continue that.
“We want to be the kind of team that can control games. Even in the first game (against Real Madrid), everyone saw we broke even against arguably the best side in Europe for 55 minutes. We need to be able to do that for longer stretches of the games and become, consistently, a team that can dominate matches. That doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of work but we’ve put the system in place and the players are willing participants.”
They are comforting words for supporters. Most of what Postecoglou has previously said about Celtic has ultimately come true. If he feels there’s a breakthrough on the goal front in Europe, then who’d bet against it?
What’s certain is that the Bhoys do need to find their shooting boots against RB Leipzig over the next two group stage games. The Germans are shipping goals at an alarming rate and it’s something that Celtic must take advantage of.
We know they are capable of strong attacking play themselves, so if we’re to get anything from the doubleheader then the Celtic group need to take the chances that are being created.
In other news, Celtic’s 11-point swing opportunity on Sunday.