Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou puts trust in "smart performer" Nir Bitton

By John McGinley

March 13, 2022

It’s fair to say Nir Bitton hasn’t been one of the first names on Ange Postecoglou’s team sheet this season but it seems the Israeli midfielder is a valued part of the manager’s plans nonetheless.

Bitton has made 34 appearances under Ange but 15 of those have come from the bench with Postecoglou’s attack-minded midfield often freezing him out of the starting eleven.

However, a strong performance against Livingston last week could see him keep his place in the team for tomorrow night’s trip against Dundee United.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic boss hails Nir Bitton

If Postecoglou’s latest comments are to go by, it definitely wouldn’t be a shock. The Australian has singled Bitton out for praise ahead of this one, suggesting his experience will be relied upon over the next two months.

The Bhoys boss told The Scottish Mail on Sunday [13/03 print edition, page 150]: “Niro has been very good for us.

“He was one of the few experienced ones we had left last year and I think the way we play suits him being in midfield. He has a physical presence but he is also a smart performer who reads the game well. It has been great for me to call on him particularly when you look at that No 6 role as it’s pivotal.

“It is not an easy role to just throw somebody into. Callum, Niro and James McCarthy have been there at different times and having an experienced player in that role is pretty important.

“Niro has been great for us. He was great against Livingston and he has been a key contributor.”

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Bitton is part of the furniture at Celtic at this point, so his experience in a title run-in could indeed be key. He’s made 266 appearances in total for the club, winning an incredible 17 trophies along the way.

Alongside Callum McGregor and James Forrest, he’ll be one of the guiding forces in that dressing room right now helping this new squad pull together and push for more honours.

A Nir renaissance over the next few weeks seems like a distinct possibility.

In other news, Big semi-final line-up awaits Celtic or Dundee United after dramatic Scottish Cup weekend.