"Relaxation"; UEL boss' Celtic Park comments will be music to Postecoglou's ears

By Euan Davidson

November 26, 2021

Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini has said his side’s trip to Celtic Park will be in the context of “relaxation”, knowing his side are already through to the Europa League latter stages.

Betis conquered Ferencvaros last night [UEFA], with goals from Tello and Canales. Now, Real Betis can take their trip to Celtic Park in less stressful times.

It could’ve been a show-stopping finale in Glasgow’s East End. A draw against Bayer Leverkusen would’ve taken the Europa League Group G to the last day. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Photo by Fran Macia/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

And now Manuel Pellegrini, in words that will undoubtedly rankle with Postecoglou, has said he’s relaxed about the game at Celtic Park. Real Sociedad, in La Liga, is the tie his side have to worry about, he says.

Pellegrini said [Diario de Sevilla]:

“We were not aware of the [score in Germany]. The results had different [outcomes]. 

“The important thing was to win our game and now we are going to Glasgow with more relaxation being able to think about the home game against Real Sociedad.

“It was important to qualify to continue in the European competition.”

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Here’s hoping Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has heard Manuel Pellegrini comments

Oh. Oh now.

Unless something’s been lost in translation, that’s more than a bit cheeky from the former West Ham United boss. Manuel Pellegrini has effectively prepared Ange Postecoglou’s team talk for him next month.

Fine, Celtic are out of the Europa League, and have a busy schedule. The priorities are now elsewhere; the Scottish Premiership, the Premier Sports Cup Final.

But if you think Ange Postecoglou is going to take comments like these well, think again. The last thing he wants is teams to come to Celtic Park in a relaxed mood.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

This should be all the incentive Ange needs to have his players batter Betis at Celtic Park. It’s still going to be a big night at Paradise. If Celtic can finish a tough group with a statement win over a fine side, the galvanising effect is obvious.

He’s a manager that loves being doubted. Comments like these will be an absolute tonic to the charismatic Greek-Aussie manager.

Given that Real Betis, like Leverkusen, squeaked past Celtic, there’ll be revenge on the cards anyway.

But “relaxation”? Think again.

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