Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou expects significant improvement from last Hearts game

By Euan Davidson

August 14, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is determined to see a more clinical Bhoys display against Hearts.

On the Scottish Premiership’s opening weekend, the Jambos beat Celtic 2-1 [BBC]. A late header from John Souttar sealed all three points for Robbie Neilson’s side.

Ange Postecoglou’s team have undoubtedly improved in the games since. But Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup fixture will show just how much.

The Celtic manager said [Daily Record]:

“That day [at Tynecastle] I think Carl [Starfelt] had hardly had a session, Kyogo was only with us at the hotel and a couple of the other boys had not had a great pre-season so, we are a bit further down the track and our football has improved a little bit.

“But that’s not to say it is going to be any easier a game for us or a game where we can just naturally dominate. We’ve got to work hard. Hearts are a good side and it will be a good challenge for us.

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“We’re at home in front of a big crowd again, which will be great, and I think we’ve improved since last time.

“It was a good game at Tynecastle and we were competitive for long spells. We weren’t really threatening Hearts enough and they did a good job of shutting us down.

“Our job is to turn the possession in to more of a threat this time.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou determined to see improvement against Hearts

Despite being newly promoted, Hearts always represent a real test. Neilson’s side took us to penalties in the Scottish Cup Final [BBC], and feature the likes of Gary Mackay-Steven and Craig Gordon.

However, in a short space of time, Celtic have come on leaps and bounds. The losses against Midtjylland and Hearts seem like quite a long time ago. Postecoglou’s team, in the three games since Tynecastle, have scored 13 goals.

That’s drastic improvement. With a bumper home crowd backing the Bhoys this time, it would be a shock to see Hearts repeat their opening day trick.

What’s more, the Bhoys seem far more defensively capable than they were on opening weekend. The additions of Starfelt and former England goalkeeper Joe Hart have given the defence a more solid feel.

Was the first game against Hearts an aberration? Or will Ange Postecoglou’s side be more convincing against Robbie Neilson’s stubborn side?

In other news: The must-see clip of Celtic star