Motherwell boss Alexander shares what he's noticed about Celtic under Postecoglou
Celtic face Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday, and there’ll be an odd mirror image to proceedings when the Hoops head to North Lanarkshire.
Celtic are now top of the table under Ange Postecoglou. But it’s hard not to think of an important away win at Fir Park as a real turning point that led us to where we are now. If the away victory over Aberdeen was significant, a form-turning moment on our travels, then a spirited victory against the Steelmen made it a habit [BBC].
At that point, Ange Postecoglou was still being doubted, still relentlessly asked about the title race, and still making his tactical mark on Celtic. Through it all, though, Graham Alexander believes that Celtic have respected their opposition.
The Motherwell manager said [Scottish Daily Mail, print edition 5/2, p. 118]: “Celtic are in a great vein of form and will be very buoyed by the other night. But what I see from Celtic is that they respect all the opponents. They go into every game to play their way, they have done that since [Postecoglou] came in.
“Our home record is good, it’s something to defend and enhance if we can by winning again and again.
“The players have done really well at Fir Park and the supporters have been brilliant with us as well to help us achieve those results, they have made it a great atmosphere for us to compete. We are going to have to bring all those things on Sunday. The atmosphere will be brilliant.”
Graham Alexander is right; Celtic and Ange Postecoglou take nothing for granted this season
Some of this ties into what Ange Postecoglou has said himself about Celtic. Yes, he was entitled to celebrate the other night, and very much did. But he was keen to stress that we were far from done. More to the point, he’s never been shy of saying that we’ll get a tough test at Fir Park tomorrow.
Now, you can be cynical and call it lip service. But it’d be weirder if Ange Postecoglou, in his first season at Celtic, was ever going to rest on his laurels and not pay necessary respect to opposition teams. It’s his first rodeo, and it just wouldn’t be him not to plan appropriately for each game.
Again, you can be cynical and say that’s just what you expect from a manager. It’s important, though. Complacency is the enemy of success, and that was abundantly clear in the preparations for last season.
Tomorrow has become a much bigger game than before, if anything. The pressure hasn’t been relieved one bit; we’re now there to be hunted, and that brings with it new challenges.
So, to have Fir Park, a perennially tricky away trip, as our first game after topping the table is a real test.
Ange Postecoglou won’t be downplaying this game for a moment. Nor will he show the slightest bit of disrespect or complacency. Graham Alexander’s noticed that.