Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou reflects honestly on his damaging Kyogo decision

By John McGinley

December 11, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has admitted frustration after the decision to bring Kyogo into the game for the injured Albian Ajeti on Thursday night.

Postecoglou named 11 changes to his team to face Real Betis, clearly taking into account that the game didn’t mean much and his regulars had to be protected for the matches ahead this December.

However, when Ajeti went down in the 28th minute, he didn’t hesitate in bringing Kyogo into the match. It turned out to be a damaging call, with Kyogo himself going down in the second half with an apparent hamstring problem.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Addressing his decision after the match, Postecoglou told The Scotsman: “It’s frustrating. Those are the decisions you make as a manager. You probably have a sleepless night thinking about the different scenarios. But my whole ethos has always been that you go out there and you go for things. You never hold back.

“It has served me well up until now and I’ll continue to do that with the way I want my team to play and the decisions I make. It’s just my nature to be more aggressive than sometimes people think I need to be. But we will get our rewards because of that.”

It’s refreshing to see that Postecoglou isn’t being defensive about his decision, or shirking responsibility. It was his call and he made it with the best intentions, he doesn’t shy away from that. Although he’s been heavily criticised, ultimately it’s the kind of injury that could have happened at any time.

“Hatate and Kyogo should form an amazing partnership” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson

“Hatate and Kyogo should form an amazing partnership” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

I was desperately frustrated when I found out the news he’d be missing for upcoming matches on Thursday night. In fact you can probably see the moment my heart breaks in two on the 67 Hail Hail YouTube channel as the update comes through live.

But with a couple of days separation I can acknowledge that while the manager shouldn’t have sent Kyogo on, it’s not worth criticising too much! Ultimately if this Celtic squad are truly contenders we can cope without the Japanese star for a couple of weeks.

In other news, Boost for Celtic as injured defender is spotted in training ahead of Motherwell.