Ange Postecoglou promises Celtic will go after AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands

By David Walton

August 19, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has excitingly promised Celtic fans that his side will look to attack AZ Alkmaar next week as opposed to protecting their lead.

The Hoops have managed to rack up a 2-0 scoreline to take to the Netherlands for next week’s Europa League playoff second-leg clash. With the away goal rule abolished, any goals scored by the Hoops won’t count for double.

This could easily lead to a more pragmatic approach from the Bhoys. Both sides created a host of opportunities last night, and some may feel it’s wise for Celtic to sit back and try to frustrate AZ.

But Postecoglou clearly isn’t interested in that frame of mind. Instead, he’s stated that Celtic will instead get at AZ and look to finish the tie in style next week.

When asked by the BBC whether Celtic will look to protect their lead in a defensive manner next week, Postecoglou said: “No, I don’t think so. I think we just go there and try again to impose our football on the game.

“I think against good sides like that if you start thinking about protection then you give them a little bit of an advantage. We have just got to go there and repeat what we did here tonight.”

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Postecoglou unwilling to see Celtic sit back in Alkmaar

The Celtic boss hits the nail on the head here. We’ve never been a club that has had it in us to succeed by sitting back and inviting pressure onto us for a start.

We have a new back four still getting used to playing with each other. The last thing we need is to go into the backyard of a top Eredivisie side and give them a free 90-minute attacking exercise against our defence. There’s only one winner there.

When you’re trying to instill a certain mentality and way of playing into a team, there’s no point in contradicting that. We couldn’t expect Celtic to play an all-out backs to the wall game against AZ. They’re far too good a side for that.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

We defeated our Dutch rivals last night by playing to our strengths. By throwing caution to the wind and putting on a high-intensity press. Naturally, that leads to opportunities for both sides as they occasionally managed to get through the press.

But that’s Celtic’s best chance of winning in the Netherlands. By getting at Alkmaar and playing in their own half. That’ll kill the time a lot quicker than inviting wave after wave of attack.

Thankfully, Postecoglou seems to share the same view.

In other news, Celtic boss wants to give Kyogo Furuhashi a rest; confirms he’ll need to keep playing