Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou explains what he wants from supporters against Motherwell tomorrow
Bring the noise: that’s the message from Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou to the Hoops faithful.
The Celtic boss insists his players need to feed off the energy of a capacity crowd tomorrow. That follows a strange atmosphere in the win over Real Betis on Thursday, with supporters’ groups partaking in a silent protest against Bernard Higgins at Celtic Park.
A coalition of supporters groups have been fiercely objecting to Higgins taking a security role at the club for weeks. This led to more vocal protests, demonstrations against Dundee, banners and, more recently, silence. The Green Brigade and Bhoys in particular kept quiet as Celtic bested Real Betis with a second-string side.
It’s a sad situation, and it’s certainly not one that the fan groups themselves would like. But Ange Postecoglou is calling on everyone at Celtic Park tomorrow to create a famous Celtic Park atmosphere.
Ange Postecoglou said [Herald]: “My hope and wish for it is that for 90 minutes we all come together as a football club.
“Because that’s what special about this football club – that 90 minutes, anyone who plays in that atmosphere knows it’s so special.
“So from my point of view I much prefer it when the crowd are right behind the boys. They both feed off each other’s energy. Hopefully that returns.”
Ange Postecoglou caught between rock and a hard place as Celtic fans continue to object to Higgins
If the club could clarify what was happening over Bernard Higgins, then we’d probably get some kind of closure. Instead, it’s a contentious issue that’s being dragged on for what feels like an epoch.
For Ange Postecoglou, you can’t help but feel sorry for him. The internal politics of Celtic aren’t his remit; from his point of view, he wants fans singing and dancing in the stands because of his team’s performance. It’s natural for him to say he’d want that.
This isn’t Ange taking a stand against supporters’ groups though, or anything like that. He’s not daft. Instead, he’s stating a preference. We’re sure that Bhoys, Green Brigade, Celtic Shared et al would rather none of this was happening, either.
Supporters en masse will have their own point of view about this. The idea that silence detracts from what the players are doing isn’t entirely credible after the win over Real Betis. Equally, a prolonged period with a diminished atmosphere would affect the players. It certainly did last season.
For what it’s worth, I’m with those protesting. I’m sure Ange Postecoglou gets it. I can absolutely see the merit of it, and I think we need to collectively understand that protest is never the ideal situation. Fans don’t want to be angry at their club. It’s not pointless agitation, it’s a meaningful opposition to a man who shouldn’t be near the club whatsoever.
The sooner this debacle is over, the better. Then everyone at Celtic Park can get back to what we do best; making noise for the Bhoys.
Read more: Japanese report: Yokohama F Marinos move suggests imminent excitement for Celtic fans