James McPake gives Lennoxtown insight after discussions with Celtic staff

By Euan Davidson

March 16, 2022

Former Dundee boss James McPake has given some insight about the approach Celtic are using at Lennoxtown, and a warning for opposition teams.

McPake has already said he was blown away by discussions he had with Ange Postecoglou. Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show last night, McPake expanded on what he’d learned from the Celtic first-team staff, and seeing Ange’s Bhoys beat his Dundee team first-hand.

The former Dens Park boss had advice for sides facing Celtic, particularly after watching Dundee’s rivals United lose 3-0 to the Bhoys on Monday night.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

McPake said [Go Radio Football Show, 15/3]: “When you do come up against – particularly this Celtic team – you need to keep the ball.

“Otherwise you’re going to be tired because they work at a… that’s what they’ve got them doing, they run you. They keep going and keep going, they are relentless.

“And having watched that, and having spoken to people in there, the way Ange conducts his training or the staff do the training, they just go for you. They try and finish games off as quickly as they can. It took them a wee bit longer [against Dundee United] but they were in cruise control for most of that game.”

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No surprise what Celtic are working on at Lennoxtown, though McPake’s point is a good one

It’s been great fun to watch Celtic take what they’re learning at Lennoxtown and apply it in-game. Against Dundee United, the Hoops were occasionally devastating, while able to also use the squad well and not over-exert in the latter stages.

Since he arrived at Lennoxtown, though, the Celtic manager has preached intensity, and that’s very much the theme of the Hoops’ performances this season. To see that coming to fruition from an opposing dugout must be pretty tough to watch.

He has got a point about keeping the ball, though. Hibernian have managed to do that against us, to a degree. Even though they lost 2-0 at Celtic Park under Shaun Maloney, they learned enough to keep it goalless at Easter Road. That might be the model approach that other managers look to as the season comes to a dramatic finale.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

For Celtic, it’s about using the intensity and relentlessness to good effect. Despite missing forward players, the Bhoys are still more than capable of scoring at will, creating something out of very little to win games.

That’s encouraging.

For McPake, it’s another in a series of compliments for Celtic, and what they’ve done at Lennoxtown.

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