Joe Hart on changing Celtic tactics and inspirational Ange
Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart has spoken about his evolving role at Celtic and the words from his manager he takes into every match with the Parkhead club.
Hart was one of many recruits from last summer, with Celtic lacking an obvious number one, and has enjoyed rare continuity after several years of upheaval in his career.
As reported by The Glasgow Times, Hart said. “Speaking as a new player from last year, I’ve really enjoyed knowing where I was at the start of the season, being part of our pre-season, going in to do what we are going to do.
“It’s not an easy system to walk into and a lot of us, it’s going to be easier when the majority of us are a year in and understand what is required. The newer players will see every day what we are doing. Last year we were learning on the spot a little bit.”
The Englishman also spoke about his new position in the team that has seen him playing higher, operating outside of his box to move Celtic’s build-up play further up the pitch from the off.
“That is always where he wants his goalie. I know that, we know that. That’s how he sees football,” Hart said. “But he also understands you have to play with the players you have got.”
“I couldn’t just come in and play as high as that as I’d never done it before, so I had to learn and I’m still learning. That’s why I absolutely love being here and playing under the manager.
“It’s becoming less uncomfortable to be that high. Before, to be that high, I always thought ‘danger, danger’. But now I understand the reasons why I am there. I am not there for any reason to help the team to progress and move forward. I understand the reasons better, so I feel more comfortable.”
Hart was understandably optimistic about the season, and predicts that there is more to come from both him, and the rest of the team, revealing the motivational message that his manager imbues into his players before games.
He said: “Is there more to come? That option is definitely there, but it is down to us. To me, us as individuals, us as a team. The manager constantly references it: Why not make the game you are about to play in your best game you have ever played in?
“I love that message and I live by that message, so there’s definitely that opportunity, but how it will play out, we will see.”
Despite not appearing a natural fit for the system, the former England number one has been a steady presence for Celtic in a troubled position, and is clearly someone his manager has unbridled faith in.
It was a move that came when it looked as if Hart’s career was on the downward slope, following a series of difficult spells after leaving Man City, and mostly sitting on the bench as a cup goalkeeper at Tottenham Hotspur before his transfer to Paradise.
It has been a happy marriage between Hart and Celtic so far, and long may it continue.