"Just not interested"; What Celtic manager is refusing to do ahead of Hearts clash

By Euan Davidson

December 2, 2021

Ahead of Celtic taking on Hearts, manager Ange Postecoglou is refusing to think about the title race, and reducing the Premiership to a two-horse between the Bhoys and Rangers.

With Hearts sitting third in the table, Postecoglou is determined not to let any title talk distract him.

Hearts could leapfrog Celtic with a win tonight, while Celtic could reduce the gap at the top to four points once more.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

There’s a lot at stake. And the last thing Postecoglou is interested in doing is turning tonight into a story about the title or what Rangers are doing.

The Celtic manager explained [Herald]:

“If you start thinking you’re only involved in a two horse race then there’s no doubt if it turns into a two horse race then you will finish second. That’s because you’ve disregarded the rest of the field and I’m not going to do that and I haven’t done that.

“If you start thinking you can just focus on next week or that this one is not for us this week then it doesn’t matter how many horses are in the race, you are definitely not going to finish first.

“I’m just not interested in people focusing on a two horse race as for me, every game is a challenge, particularly when games come thick and fast.

“I’m not going to disrespect any opponent and we’re not going to think any opponent is going to be any simpler a challenge for us to solve than any other. It’s the same three points and it’s all about putting those three points in the bank.”

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Ange Postecoglou has the right mentality for Celtic ahead of Hearts clash, and his players will listen

If only we had this kind of thinking a couple of years ago.

The Celtic board, by all appearances, weren’t interested in the team’s more general growth. It seemed to be about just doing enough to pip a poor Rangers team, and secure the title.

The lack of long-term thinking and complacency led to Celtic losing the 10. Heartbreaking as it was, a lot of fans saw it coming from miles away. Yet, there was a suggestion that these fans were “entitled”. It wasn’t a particularly nice time.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

The tunnel-vision cost us. Make no mistake.

Now, it’s about treating our opposition on an equal footing, and making sure the attitude is consistent. Postecoglou realises nothing is given for free. It’s about accumulating as many points as possible and seeing where it gets you.

That’s important, and it’s a refreshing change of attitude. Especially ahead of games like tonight’s. Celtic have the better players but Hearts are no mugs, as we learned to our detriment on the opening week of the season.

It’s a big one. That’s why the attitude going into is so, so important.

Read more: “In great shape”; Gary Lineker and Micah Richards talk up Celtic hero Joe Hart