Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou on facing surface he's never experienced before

By Euan Davidson

September 18, 2021

Ange Postecoglou will be experience a club management first with Celtic tomorrow: a plastic pitch.

Livingston’s much-derided plastic surface at the Tony Macaroni remains the only pitch of its type in the Scottish top-flight. After Hamilton Academical and Kilmarnock were relegated, Livi’s arena stands alone, in an unpopular fashion.

Yet, if you were looking for Ange Postecoglou to use it as a pre-emptive excuse, then think again. The Bhoys admits it’s not something he’s used to, but it won’t distract him from the job at hand.

Postecoglou said [Sun]:

“Artificial surfaces aren’t something I’m too used to. You didn’t really have them in Australia and there weren’t any teams in Japan who had artificial pitches.

“With the Australian national team we had to play on them a couple of times in Asia but that’s really all.

Ange Postecoglou is building a Celtic team to be proud of

Ange Postecoglou is building a Celtic team to be proud of
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“Generally I’m not a fan of them, though I understand why they’ve been brought in. But a game played on natural turf is more of a natural game.

“I’m not sure about them giving the home club an advantage. Maybe the team that plays on them regularly might.

“But there’s a natural advantage in playing at home regardless of the surface. And it’s not just the surface, it’s the dimensions of the ground, the crowd, a whole range of things.

“There won’t be any excuses. And I think Thursday was a classic example of that.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t letting surface-level chat get in his way

Just as he hinted at yesterday, Postecoglou isn’t going to let variables and obstacles cloud his vision. He wants Celtic to be successful playing his brand of football, something that can be done across a range of surfaces.

With winter approaching, there are going to be all kinds of environmental factors across a season. A plastic pitch is just one he’ll have to deal with. It certainly won’t stop him sending a very clear message to his players about his expectations.

Arguably, it does make our top-flight look a bit small-time. However, the weather here is different to Australia or Japan.

Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

As annoying as they can be, it’s totally justifiable that clubs would want to use synthetic surfaces. They’re cheaper to maintain and durable.

Do they make for better football matches? Certainly not. However, Postecoglou is experienced enough to suggest that he’ll plan around this, as he would’ve planned for the heat in Seville.

Livingston have been a thorn in our side for a number of seasons now. Postecoglou will have this tie marked in the calendar since he joined, determined to bag a convincing win.

The pitch won’t concern him one iota.

In other news: Why Ramon Vega could be perfect to replace Dom McKay at Celtic