“Something to work on”; What Celtic fan favourite O'Riley wants to see more of from his teammates

By Euan Davidson

March 15, 2022

Celtic fan favourite Matt O’Riley has never been the shy type, even before he arrived from MK Dons.

Typically forthright and extremely demanding of himself, O’Riley has built an instant rapport with the Celtic support. And after the Hoops beat Dundee United, he said something else that fans will appreciate: he wants the Bhoys to be more ruthless.

O’Riley had a decent game as Celtic overcame the Terriers in the Scottish Cup, setting up a mouth-watering semi-final against Rangers at Hampden. A deflected strike from Callum McGregor and two goals from Giorgos Giakoumakis put away one of the more competitive SPFL sides we’ve played this season, having taken points from us at Celtic Park in September.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The former Fulham youngster, though, wants more from himself and his teammates. Dissecting the game after full-time, Matt O’Riley told Celtic’s in-house media [Celtic TV]: “I actually think, intensity-wise, we were probably better in the first half, in terms of our whole game structure.

“Second half we knew the spaces were going to open a bit more, because [Dundee United] had to come about a bit more. We took advantage of that.

“I still think we could’ve scored a few more, been a bit more ruthless. Something to work on. But overall, it was good.”

Dundee United 0-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

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Even after a 3-0 win, Celtic star Matt O’Riley has the right idea

Again, we beat Dundee United 3-0 last night. However, if you thought anyone out the Celtic camp was entirely satisfied, you’d be wrong.

Not to say Ange Postecoglou and the Bhoys didn’t enjoy the win at Tannadice, far from it. But it’s very obvious that this group of players has a constant set of targets, performance-wise. If they feel the standards aren’t being met, then they’ll say so.

O’Riley embodied that in his comments. He realises that, good as this Celtic side is, there’s a lot more to come. And he’s right – at points, Celtic could’ve upped the intensity, and it could’ve really been 5 or 6-nil.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That’s no complaint whatsoever. Tannadice, especially with three stands full(ish) of their supporters in a one-leg knock-out tie, is hardly the simplest task to overcome. That we won with such relative comfort made it a great night for the Hoops support.

For the team, though, it’s about constant improvement, constant intensity and a relentless focus on playing their way.

Celtic supporters will, once again, surely love this from Matt O’Riley. With a vital couple of months ahead, a genuine make-or-break series of games for Ange’s team, this is the attitude the team needs to have.

Read more: Michael Stewart and Chris Sutton left extremely impressed with Celtic hero at Tannadice