Celtic players discussed performance dip in-house; have now rectified it

By David Walton

March 16, 2022

Celtic star Matt O’Riley has stated that the players discussed recent performance issues in-house and believes they’ve now rectified it.

The Hoops had gone through a bit of a rough patch when it came to their displays earlier this year. The performances against the likes of Raith Rovers, Bodo/Glimt, St Mirren, and Hibernian respectively were all extremely concerning for supporters.

However, the players appear to have a spring in their step after our last 2 performances. A 3-1 success at Livingston was followed by a 3-0 hammering of Dundee United at Tannadice in the Scottish Cup. All of a sudden, Celtic’s performance issues look like a thing of the past.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And O’Riley has revealed that it’s something the players did indeed discuss and look to address in house. As quoted by the Daily Record, the midfielder said: “We spoke about it. I think the level dropped a little bit performance wise. It can happen for whatever reasons. There’s been a lot of games this season already.

“But we rectified it quickly. The training standards have always been really high. As long as we drive that every day it will translate on to the pitch.

“That’s the mindset we have [that Celtic can beat anyone], it has to be like that. It comes from the manager. He really believes we can beat anyone and that transfers to the boys. You see it on the pitch, we really believe in ourselves.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic players take action at a key stage of the season

It’s interesting to read this from O’Riley. Especially when Ange Postecoglou was constantly defending the performances in his post-match media interviews.

Granted, that’s the job of the manager. He has to protect his players. He was never going to come out and lambast them. But it’s reassuring to know that work was being done in training to rectify it and that, most importantly, the dip was noticed by the manager and players.

It’s also impressive to think that, even when we did suffer a slight decline, our domestic results were still positive. We overcame St Mirren and Dundee at Parkhead in ropey displays. We also breezed into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable win over Raith Rovers. We also went to Pittodrie and managed to grind out an impressive win.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

Now, however, we look back to our normal free-flowing best. Some of the football at Tannadice, on such a difficult surface, was breathtaking. And it followed a confident total footballing performance on the plastic pitch at the Tony Macaroni Arena too.

To sum up, the Celtic players have taken action. They’ve rectified a key issue and sorted it immediately. That’s a big plus for us heading into the final few weeks of the title race.

Whilst we know performance dips can happen, it’s imperative that this team showed how much character it has to bounce back quickly. All the while we managed to consistently grind out positive results regardless. It’s early days for this group, but the signs are something special is happening here.

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