Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou dismisses Liel Abada concerns
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was brought to a chuckle in his press conference yesterday when asked about Liel Abada missing Nir Bitton.
Abada gave an interview to Celtic TV earlier this week where he made it clear that he is feeling the absence of his compatriot after Bitton left Celtic following years of service.
One journalist raised it as an issue to Postecoglou in his pre-match media event, but Postecoglou wasn’t in the mood to entertain it as a serious concern, insisting that Abada is his own man.
The Celtic manager said [YouTube]: “I get that to a certain extent, but I think Liel is just being honest about his feelings. I do not think Liel needs any protection from anyone.
“He does not need a big brother. He can take care of himself. He was wearing his big boy pants last year when he was thrown in and banging in goals and providing assists.
“He was obviously very close with Niro, who was fantastic with him, particularly in terms of helping him settle in. Liel knows what he wants to achieve in this game.
“We try and create a club environment of support for all our players, whether they are foreign or from just down the road. We have a supportive network for all of them and can provide any help they need.”
I think this is perhaps a case of the media looking for a story that isn’t there. Just because Abada misses Bitton, it doesn’t mean he’s become unsettled or unsure of himself.
That’s what Postecoglou is trying to get across. He cares about the welfare of his players more than anyone. In fact, a player liaison role was created at the club last summer to address specific issues.
I’d expect to see the manager utilise Abada in a prominent role sooner rather than later and I have no doubt the Israeli international can perform to a high standard despite his candid admission.