Ange's special praise for Celtic "warrior" Anthony Ralston; makes fitness admission

By Euan Davidson

December 16, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has given special praise to his right-back Anthony Ralston, after his last-minute heroics against Ross County.

The full-back found himself in the box in the dying embers of the game, with Tom Rogic finding him for a header that sealed three points in Dingwall.

Ralston admitted it was the “stuff of dreams” after scoring the winner, and said he’d have been “going nuts” in the stands with the fans were he not a player.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou was full of acclaim for the resurgent right-back. Ralston, playing behind Josip Juranovic in a make-shift Celtic side, had another great display, topped by a brilliantly taken and vital goal. His 96th minute winner makes it, somewhat remarkably, five goals for the season overall [Transfermarkt].

Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]: “He’s been enormous for us all year and he continues to be.

“He wasn’t even 100% tonight, with his ankle. But he’s a warrior, he’s a soldier, he loves this football club and he wants to make a career for himself.

“Great for him that he got the rewards but he’ll share it with the other 10 tonight, because I thought they all were magnificent in a difficult situation.”

Ross County 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

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Ange Postecoglou had to gamble on Celtic star Anthony Ralston, and it paid off

Given the lack of options the Celtic boss had, Anthony Ralston was perhaps rushed back into the side. That was so Josip Juranovic could function as a right-winger, with Abada in the middle. Without James Forrest or Karamoko Dembelé available, Ange had to make do.

But somehow, it just about worked. And given Ralston was able to play the entirety of the game – obviously – it appears his ankle woes are over. At least, that’s the hope.

The Scotland international was superb again last night, ankle injury or no. He played 63 passes, made 4 crosses, won 5 of his duels, and recovered the ball 4 times [Fotmob]. Not bad at all, and that’s before you even get to that all-important goal.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

With the Cup Final ahead, the Celtic boss has the relative luxury of being able to choose Juranovic or Ralston to start, provided both aren’t needed simultaneously.

It’s a rare treat for the manager. How he wishes he could have two options as good as Anthony Ralston in every position at the moment.

Read more: Video: Class clip of Ange Postecoglou and Celtic supporters emerges after dramatic win