Ange Postecoglou's brilliant response to media question on Celtic's UEL approach

By David Walton

September 15, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has delivered the perfect response after being questioned on how Celtic will approach a tricky Europa League group stage.

Celtic kickstart their European campaign with a tough clash against Real Betis in Seville. With the injury problems that have suddenly stricken the Parkhead club, many would take a point and run tomorrow in what’s looking like our hardest game of the season so far.

Another popular theory when it comes to group stage football is that winning your home games is essential. Anything picked up away can be considered something of a bonus.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

But this is all chat Postecoglou could do without. At today’s media conference, he was posed a question on how Celtic would approach the group and whether they would be tactical about where they target maximum points or one. Quite evidently, Ange was having none of it:

Speaking via Celtic TV, Postecoglou said: “My philosophy is that if you win games you have a good chance of progressing. So that’s irrespective of home and away, even more so in group stages. If you start thinking about scratching around for a point here or there or trying to accumulate a certain amount of points to get through, again, it’s not the kind of football team we want to be.

“We’ll go there and we’ll try to win a game of football. That won’t change and our approach won’t change. It’s not that we don’t recognise the opposition, the difficulty of the opposition or playing away from home. I understand all of that.

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“But playing for those kinds of outcomes is just fraught with danger. You start already with conceding something, and I’m not prepared to concede anything to anyone in any way shape or form. What I do know is the game starts at 0-0 and you have 95 minutes to win a game of football.”

Postecoglou informs media Celtic will go for the win in every UEL game

This approach from the manager is such a brave one. Other coaches would’ve simply stated that there are certain games where a point is successful. But it’s clear that the Celtic boss doesn’t want his players thinking that at all.

No wonder either. They’re not travelling to Betis to come away with a draw. We have the talent in our ranks to land some blows on them. Why shouldn’t we be looking to seal a win? We’re here on merit and Betis are anything but untouchable.

That’s not to say a win is going to be expected or demanded by the Celtic support. We’re all aware of the mighty job on the manager’s hands tomorrow night. Even getting a point would see the fans express their pride in the team. We know the challenge and we’re not oblivious to its difficulties.

Photo by Denis Doyle – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

But it’s the approach you have to admire heading into it. We’re rocked with injuries, yet still Postecoglou isn’t entertaining a pessimistic approach. It’s clear how much he’s trying to instill a positive mentality back into the club once again.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow night, it’s clear how he’s approaching the coming weeks. And he’s right to do so too. After all, if you start being tactical about where to pick up points, one bad result can throw your plans up in the air.

Celtic likely won’t win every game in the group. But having a positive approach in all of them will at least keep things entertaining.

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