SPFL boss states Celtic have handed him a "reality check" after drubbing

By David Walton

February 8, 2022

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has admitted that he got it wrong against Celtic and stated the 4-0 drubbing was a “reality check”.

The Hoops continued their sensational form with a superb blitzing of the Fir Park side on Saturday. Goals from Liel Abada, Tom Rogic (x2), and Daizen Maeda secured another priceless 3 points as Celtic consolidated their lead at the top of the table.

Motherwell tried to get at Celtic and put a high press on in the hope they would force the defence into mistakes. However, Ange Postecoglou’s men were easily able to overcome the challenge and created chance after chance in the final third.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And as he reflected on the hammering of his side on his own turf, Alexander believes, on reflection, he got his tactics badly wrong.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Alexander said: “There is a massive gap between what those two clubs have compared to the rest. It shows in the squads and who they can bring off the bench. I’ve fought against it for 12 or 13 months. I have had a reality check about what it’s about, but it won’t stop us from trying to win next time we play either of them.

“It was difficult to find positives as it was a really tough afternoon for us. I have to take responsibility for that more than the players do. I think I got things wrong. I have to take that on the chin. But what pleased me was the players never gave in. It was a really afternoon and when they score before half-time, you know it’s going to be a difficult second half.

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“To be fair to the players, they didn’t throw in the towel. It’s something we have to quickly put behind us and move on into the future.”

Motherwell won’t be the only side to be taught a lesson by Celtic in 2022

It goes back to the old Celtic 3-0 Rangers debate “neutral” observers appeared to have. That question of whether Celtic were truly that good or whether Rangers really were that bad. Personally, I believe the latter was simply a by-product of the former.

But against Motherwell it was slightly different. See the Steelmen weren’t necessarily bad on the day. They just tried to implement a game-plan that was never going to work. They tried to press Celtic and get at their backline.

The problem for Alexander and his men is that Celtic had far too much quality. Whenever we beat the press, which was regularly, the likes of Tom Rogic, Liel Abada, and Reo Hatate had space to run at a helpless Motherwell backline.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There really is no point opening up and trying to have a go at this Celtic team. Whilst it’s fully welcomed with regards to making the game more of a spectacle, it’s just asking for trouble. Credit to Alexander for trying to set his team up to attack, but it was doomed to fail from the start.

Teams who have taken points off of Celtic this season such as Livingston and St Mirren, have done so whilst playing an overly-negative style. It’s brutal on the eye but it’s also proven to be effective. It will be interesting to see whether the development of this Celtic team can ensure we batter down these brick walls in the coming weeks when we can up against that kind of approach again.

For now, however, we continue to punish those that try to go toe-to-toe with us. Long may it continue.

In other news, Callum McGregor’s superb commitment to Celtic cause; wants to play “as many games as possible”