"It's a knowledgeable crowd"; Joe Hart delivers glowing verdict on Celtic support

By John McGinley

September 16, 2021

Joe Hart says he’s been made to feel very welcome by both his Celtic teammates and the Hoops support since joining the club during the summer.

Hart arrived from Tottenham Hotspur to become Ange Postecoglou’s number one choice goalkeeper.

There was a bit of initial scepticism about his suitability for the role in the manager’s high-tempo, possession-based style. But he’s certainly made an impact and is already winning over fans.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

On Saturday he made a quality save against Ross County at a critical time and was asked this week about the ovation he received in the wake of that and other saves.

Speaking to the official website, he said: “Yeah, of course [I hear that]. I feel really welcome at the club first and foremost, it’s made me feel very welcome, both the guys in and around the club, and also the fans have been exceptional. I’ve really felt that and I really do appreciate that.

“But the job I’ve been asked to do, especially in the league, there’s no point in getting away from it, there’s not going to be a huge amount of saves hopefully in games, so when I do have to make the odd one, I want to be there and I want to stand up for the team.

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“It’s a knowledgeable crowd, it was 1-0 and we went on to score soon after. I still believe we would have found a way if it had gone to 1-1, but it would’ve made it a whole lot more difficult, so I was happy to do my job.”

Hart will surely be busy tonight when Celtic take on La Liga side Real Betis in their own backyard.

With all the injury and depth problems Celtic have, Betis are favourites for tonight’s encounter.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, we’ve seen in the recent past that the Bhoys can compete against the likes of Lille and Lazio away in the competition. However, expectations are low for tonight.

If we’re to get a result, Hart will likely have to make a few key stops against the team guided by his old Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

In other news, Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini picks out Celtic danger man tonight.