Ange Postecoglou sends strong Anthony Ralston message as Juranovic makes one last Celtic Park visit

By John McGinley

January 21, 2023

Ange Postecoglou believes Josip Juranovic has set the bar high at Celtic but has challenged Anthony Ralston and Alistair Johnston to rise to the task of filling his boots.

Juranovic’s exit from Celtic is imminent with the Bhoys boss confirming he’s been given permission to travel to Union Berlin for a medical over the next few days.

The Croatian was actually in attendance at Celtic Park today to watch the match and speak to his teammates before kick-off, with David Turnbull sharing they had a ‘nice moment’ together.

Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images

In his post-match media conference, 67 Hail Hail asked if Johnston’s arrival and Juranovic’s exit was a demonstration of Celtic’s transfer strategy working, to which Postecoglou said: “Yeah, if Alistair outperforms what Josip did. He set a high bar. It’s not just Alistair.

“I think the world of Anthony Ralston. He’s still a young man. Unfortunately, he’s been injured lately but he’s another one.

“When I put the team together 18 months ago I knew there had to be a smattering of different age groups and experiences. Guys like Josip, and Giakoumakis to a certain extent, we needed some men in the building. Guys like that really fulfilled where we needed to be in a short space of time.

“Underpinning that are guys like Tony, who I think has a fantastic career ahead of him as a full-back for us. Alistair is 24. With both of them there it gives us an opportunity for growth and improvement. Josip set the bar high so there’s the challenge for these guys now.”

The majority of Postecoglou’s signings have been excellent so far so there are high hopes Johnston can become as important to the Bhoys as Juranovic did.

Ralston’s improvement over the last year has been exceptional too. If he can continue with that trajectory with more exposure to first-team football, that position is definitely looking strong.

But nothing is guaranteed and it’s on both players to make sure nobody really misses Juranovic in the end.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou addresses Celtic Park pitch problem.