Matt O'Riley's "not ideal for the body" verdict of Kilmarnock pitch ahead of Celtic trip

By Lewis Laird

August 12, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has opened up on the Hoops’ preparations ahead of their trip to take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday.

For many members of this squad, it will be the first time they travel to Ayrshire to face the newly promoted side after spending last campaign in the Scottish Championship.

However, Celtic supporters are already well aware of the challenges which may come the way of Ange Postecoglou and his squad this weekend.

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

Having already experienced playing on an artificial surface against Livingston last season, the Bhoys will be taking to the Astroturf once again on their trip to Killie.

The surface has thrown up a few challenges in the past, with Kilmarnock enjoying some success at times against Brendan Rodgers Celtic side.

Ahead of this Sunday’s game, O’Riley has detailed the sort of difficulties they may come across at Rugby Park. However, the midfielder sent an assuring message, insisting the Hoops will be ready for what lies ahead.

In the press conference, which 67 Hail Hail attended, he said: “Yeah, it’s a new ground and an Astro pitch, of course. So, it’s not ideal for the body, but we’ve got to get on with it like everyone else.

“It’s obviously been hot these last few days, so it’s probably going to be dry. We’re probably going to have to adjust to the conditions as well as we can. That’s what we’ll do like we always do.

When asked what adjustments the squad have made, O’Riley stated: “Our approach is always the same. We can only control what we do at the end of the day.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Ross County’s pitch was really dry as well, to be honest; they didn’t water the pitch for us. So, we had to adapt, and we just had to try to move the ball as quickly as we can.

“It’s not going to be easy, but I think we are capable of doing it, so that’s what we’ll try to do.”

Celtic squad are ready for all the challenges that trip to Rugby Park may throw their way

It might be Ange Postecoglou and several members of his squad’s first trip to Kilmarnock’s home ground. However, there is no doubting that they will have done their homework on Derek McInnes’ side.

Killie will be out to frustrate Celtic, and as O’Riley points out, the conditions could go a long way to helping their game plan come into place.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

However, the Bhoys have the quality to break down the stubborn side, who are still on the lookout for their first three points of the season.

It should prove to be another good test at the beginning of the new season on the road for Ange Postecoglou’s side, and with confidence sky high, the Hoops will be on the hunt to make it nine points from a possible nine in their third league outing.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou says “one or two” more Celtic signings still possible in Friday update.