Reo Hatate reveals pivotal Ange chat in Japanese media appearance; inspiration from EPL star

By John McGinley

February 3, 2023

Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate is enjoying the form of Kaoru Mitoma and has used that, as well as guidance from his coaches, to improve his game in Scotland.

Mitoma is red hot this season, becoming a major hit with Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Premier League, drawing hype from pundits and supporters.

And it was Mitoma’s contributions at the Qatar World Cup, as well as chats with Ange Postecoglou and Gavin Strachan that have helped him become a more consistent attacking force with Celtic.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Reo Hatate opens up on Celtic improvement

Speaking to Sportiva in Japan, Hatate said: “Seeing Kaoru Mitoma show his strong individuality at the World Cup with Japan made me reconsider my own strengths and what I need to improve.

“I knew the answer myself, but I knocked on the room of Celtic manager boss Ange [Postecoglou] just to get some more confirmation. When I visited the room, he said, ‘What you need to improve further is your quality in the attacking third’. Hearing his words gave me confidence because I had been looking at the issue myself.

“As an aside, at the press conference after the next game, the manager said that I visit the coach [Gavin Strachan] every day, which is to show me the day after the game.

“Instead of revealing his own advice, Postecoglou praised his efforts and his coach’s work during his press conference. Such consideration and trust in the surroundings is where I can respect him as a manager and as a person.

“No matter where your position is, if you widen your range of play, you can appear in front of goal. And by pursuing quality in front of goal more, you can have results. Now I’m thinking that it will become a weapon, a feature, and a strong part of me.”

Japanese Celtic star is only getting better

Since this discussion with Postecoglou, Hatate has scored twice and assisted four times in seven Premiership appearances, becoming more and more of a hero with supporters.

Improvement is easy to see in his game over the last year and you’d put smart money on him taking a similar trajectory between now and the end of the season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hatate goes into all sorts of issues with Sporitva, sharing that he was initially so hurt he didn’t watch Japan at the World Cup, despite wishing his teammate Daizen Maeda good luck.

The Celtic midfielder has a very mature head on his shoulders and is incredibly self-reflective, two traits which should allow him to analyse his game and become even more of a force in Scottish football.

In other news, Dig or no dig, relentless Ange Postecoglou just made it clear he’s moved on from Celtic saga.