Hibernian boss makes EPL comparison as he heaps praise onto 'relentless' Celtic

By Lewis Laird

December 29, 2022

Hibernian boss Lee Johnson has heaped praise onto Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side, claiming they are one of the best sides he has faced.

The Bhoys ran out comfortable winners at Easter Road on Wednesday evening, as they put in a strong performance at a typically tough away venue.

Goals from Aaron Mooy (x2), Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi made sure all three points were coming back to Glasgow from the capital.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yesterday’s fixture was Johnson’s second experience of taking on this Celtic side, and it ended in another heavy defeat. The first time the new Hibs boss faced Postecoglou’s side was back in October when the Bhoys ran out 6-1 winners at Celtic Park.

And it is fair to say his second experience wasn’t the most pleasant for the Englishman either, who watched his team be dominated for the majority of proceedings.

Before Wednesday’s match, Johnson was full of praise for the work Postecoglou has conducted a Parkhead, stating how difficult a task it is to face the Hoops.

And following on from the 4-0 defeat, Johnson once again heaped the praise on this Celtic team, delivering the ultimate compliment.

Having managed several sides in the English Championship, the 41-year-old has had the experience of taking on English Premier League opposition.

But, he has claimed that barring Manchester City, this Celtic side is one of the best teams he has come up against, as he hailed the Hoops ‘relentless pressure’.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

He said [Edinburgh Evening News]:  “Celtic are a top team. I’ve managed against English Premier League teams, and Celtic are maybe one of the best sides, bar Manchester City, that I’ve come across.

“Celtic have obviously got a challenge in trying to bridge the gap to the ‘super elite’ teams in the Champions League, but at the moment, they are way above anything else in the Scottish Premiership, in my opinion.

“Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say they’re a better side. Do we like saying that? No. Did we want to apply more pressure than we did? Of course. But Celtic do that to everybody.

“What you can’t do is switch off. It’s a relentless pressure, both psychologically and physically. We’ve got to take the good bits of the performance and the good bits from the Livingston win into the derby.”

Johnson delivers the ultimate compliment as he talks another impressive Celtic display

Despite Hibs making a quick start to proceedings at Easter Road, Ange Postecoglou’s side quickly settled into the game and took control.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

From that point on it was all Celtic, and the Bhoys put in a relentless display, which sets them up perfectly for the trip to Ibrox on Monday.

As mentioned, Johnson has praised Celtic on several occasions, and he was clearly left impressed with the Hoops’ performance once again on Wednesday.

I am sure Ange Postecoglou will be delighted to hear such compliments. But at the same time, he won’t let that get to his players, as he eyes even more improvement going forward.

The Bhoys have certainly been impressive across the board this season, winning 18 out of 19 games in the Scottish Premiership. So it is no surprise to hear this praise come out way.

Here’s hoping in the second half of the campaign, we can continue to see these strong displays, starting with next week’s derby match.

In other news, Report: Celtic make a move for young South Korean midfield prospect.