Ange Postecoglou's outstanding comments on what he's seen at Celtic training this week
Last week’s Celtic victory over Rangers was a significant moment in the season as a whole. Of course it was. Moving six points clear at the top of the table has sent the Bhoys on their way to a title. But it’s not over yet.
Ange Postecoglou now has the task of keeping his squad grounded and focused on the final six league games of the season, some of which will be lesser occasions than the drama of Sunday.
Thankfully, from what the manager is seeing in training this week, there’s no chance of that.
He thinks his massive squad and competitive players will ensure they don’t fall into a “the job is done” mindset. If they do, Ange says, they’ll regret it.
Speaking to a press conference this afternoon [Celtic YouTube], he said: “If subliminally they’re feeling that way, they won’t play on Saturday because they’ll stand out in training. I’ve got 24 or 25 guys who are desperate to play, desperate to be involved, desperately wanting to contribute. So you can’t roll up to this training and be thinking about anything else or thinking about any ‘job done’, irrespective of who you are. The training won’t allow it, the players themselves won’t allow it. They’re pushing the limits every day.
“I’ve consistently said we want to be playing our best football this time of the year irrespective of who we’re up against and that’s that’s our aim. That’s our ambition. If any kind of that that thinking creeps into anybody, they’ll get left behind and they’ll really stand out in this group, in this environment. And at this point in time, no one is doing that.
“What I look at is how we train and how we present ourselves every day as a group. And when I see them out there I haven’t seen any change whatsoever from the way we’re prepared for the last game, we’ve prepared exactly the same way for this game.”
This is exactly what we want to hear from the manager. He’s making it clear, publicly, that the standards need to remain high at the Bhoys.
No doubt this is the consistent messaging the players are getting behind the scenes too. In fairness, it sounds like they don’t need the reminder. Everyone is still pushing towards the same goal.
There was a cathartic nature to the win against Rangers. You could see that in the players at the full-time whistle. But they have to ensure the mental and physical energy expended at Ibrox doesn’t distract them from the big picture.
We want to see a relentless Celtic at Paradise tomorrow. Make a statement Bhoys.