Ange Postecoglou rebuffs specific Celtic midfield criticism

By Dave Flanigan

July 17, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has denied suggestions that the Scottish Champions are specifically looking to add physicality in midfield.

He spoke after the Bhoys continued their pre-season preparations with 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park yesterday, in which Sam Gallagher scored for the visitors scored after just 21 seconds.

As reported by The Scottish Mail on Sunday [17/07 print edition, page 142], Postecoglou said: “Nah, it’s not my style. Our role is to dominate games in a collective sense.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Blackburn are a big, physical team, but in the first half I thought we played really well and handled them no problem. When we are playing our football and moving the ball around, we don’t need to rely on that side of the game.

“We have players who can be physical in their own way.”

The Aussie was also positive about the team’s defensive display against Blackburn Rovers in yesterday’s friendly draw, despite the Scottish Champions conceding twice to the English Championship side.

He said: “One of the goals was a set-piece and the other one was after 30 seconds. It is part of the process of where we are at.

“I still thought our reaction to conceding was really good, especially in the first 45.”

Celtic missed Reo Hatate for the second pre-season game running, the Japan international missing both the Blackburn draw and the 4-2 win against Banik Ostrava in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, having picked up a “slight knock” according to Postecoglou.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic look likely to add to their defensive midfield options this transfer window, having unsuccessfully pursued Lommel SK’s Vinicius Souza, now on loan at Espanyol, and with links persisting to Argentina U-23 international Fausto Vera.

With Callum McGregor making 50+ appearances for the fourth season in five years last term, Celtic would be wise to reduce his minutes in mind of the talismanic captain turning 30 years old next June.

In other news: Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou looking to sign 2 players over next 7 days