Matt O'Riley details important aspect of Celtic squad that will help topple stubborn opposition

By Lewis Laird

August 19, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has detailed how important it will be for Ange Postecoglou’s side to spread goals across the squad.

The Bhoys have kicked off the new season on strong form, picking up nine points from their first three Scottish Premiership fixtures.

During the victories over Aberdeen, Ross County and Kilmarnock, the Hoops have scored ten goals and conceded only one.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Those ten goals have been well spread across the pitch, with seven different goalscorers, from attackers such as Kyogo Furuhashi to defenders like Carl Starfelt.

That has been an important aspect of Ange Postecoglou’s side, with members throughout the squad last campaign chipping in on our way to a league and cup double.

Twelve months into Postecoglou’s reign as Celtic boss, clubs across Scotland know exactly the sort of test they are in for now and are trying to learn the most effective way to stop this free-flowing side.

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is well aware of the different methods that Scottish clubs will use to try and stop us. However, the 21-year-old also believes the Hoops have the quality to find a way through, and having goalscorers throughout the squad is an important aspect of that.

He said [The Scotsman]: “It’s important that we have a spread of goals from all over the team. That’s the case, especially with the way teams play against us in Scotland.

“They really try to stop us from playing our game, and we need to find a way past that. Take the Ross County game as an example; they were following the midfielders all over the pitch.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“I would run out wide, and that left Cameron Carter-Vickers with the space to run all the way up the pitch and shoot. That kind of shows that we will have to use as many options, and resources, as we can to score in certain games this season.

“Sometimes in Scotland, we need to wear teams down and then look for the openings after 60-70 minutes. Spaces can open up even more at that point, and I think late goals could be quite common this season with the way teams are being set up.

“Being patient is important; we need to find the space when we can, and then it’s a case of being clinical when we get the chances.”

Patience is key for Celtic.

When Celtic face clubs such as Kilmarnock at home or on the road, supporters and those involved at the club all know what to expect.

They are looking to stifle and frustrate us, which they are well within their right to do, as they see it as the best method to gain something from the game.

But, under Ange Postecoglou, this Celtic squad have been brilliant at remaining patient and being clinical when their chances come in the Scottish Premiership.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As O’Riley mentions, a key factor to that is having as many threats across the starting 11, and Postecoglou has built a squad that is filled with players who are more than capable of contributing towards the goal tally.

Along with the players, fans also need to show patience in games when the opportunities aren’t falling perfectly for us because the Bhoys have more than earned our trust that it will come if they continue to play their football.

It is going to be a long old season. However, if Celtic continue to play the football we know they are capable of, there is no doubt in my mind we will see Ange Postecoglou and his squad achieve more success.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou provides fascinating insight into reasoning behind Celtic staff decisions.