Celtic boss clearly not interested in potential rival excuse this Sunday
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has blown a hole through any potential Rangers excuse this Sunday regarding prep time, claiming his side wouldn’t be affected if they were playing in midweek.
The Hoops have 8 days in total to prepare for their clash against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden. Rangers, meanwhile, are currently preparing to tackle Braga in a Europa League doe-or-die clash at Ibrox on Thursday night.
It’s opened up this idea that Celtic should be able to take advantage of tired legs on Sunday. Alternatively, you can look at it as a pre-arranged excuse if Rangers go crashing out.
But Ange provided an interesting response this afternoon when asked by Celtic TV about the week off. And as a by-product of his answer, he totally shut down the argument that Rangers should be tired come Sunday:
“Look it’s a benefit because we’ll use it that way. It depends on what you do with those days. For us, it’s not about ‘we’ve got a week so we can sort of relax’, it’s a week where we can put solid work into the players.
“Now if we had a game [in midweek], that would still work the same way. Our battles at the start of the year were that we didn’t have a robust and strong enough squad to cope sometimes with 3 games in a week and keep our levels up.
“But with the squad we’ve got now, I would be confident if we had midweek games. It wouldn’t affect our performance on the weekend. Having the full week just allows us to really work hard with the boys to prepare and play our football because we’ve got that extra time and we’re going to use it.”
Celtic boss clearly not buying Rangers prep time excuse
You can’t help but feel he was aiming this comment the way of Rangers. Or those who are ready to chuck out the excuse that they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the game if they lose.
And, to be honest, Ange is absolutely spot on. It felt like we had to listen for weeks at the start of the season about how strong Rangers’ squad is. Wasn’t there a notion going about that they had 2 teams they could field and still win the title? Surely then the small matter of a one-off game against Celtic on Sunday won’t be too much for the Govan Globetrotters.
Look, let’s get serious here. It’s a Scottish Cup semi-final. Yes, Rangers will play on Thursday night. Yes, they may be demoralised if they go out of the Europa League. But don’t tell us that they can’t find the right level of motivation to at least get up for this game.
We won’t do Rangers’ team talk for them, but it highlights how ridiculous this notion is that they won’t have enough time to get ready for this. If they’re struggling for motivation, then it only goes to highlight the weak mentality we know they have.
From a Celtic perspective, Ange is right to assume Rangers will be fine on Sunday. He has to. Celtic will be trying to prep for Rangers arriving at Hampden at their very best. It’s that kind of mentality that has seen us surprise everyone this season.
All we can do is hope that it leads to success at the national stadium. It’s certainly a philosophy that’s treated us well so far this term.