"Surprised them"; Ange stunned by Hibs display vs rivals; picks out danger man vs Celtic

By John McGinley

December 19, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has paid tribute to the performance of Martin Boyle against Rangers in the League Cup semi-final.

Boyle scored a stunning hat-trick for Hibernian to send them into today’s final against Celtic. Postecoglou, of course, has familiarity with Boyle given his Socceroo and Premiership status, but he’s clearly been singled out as today’s danger man by the Bhoys boss.

He told The Herald: “He was outstanding. I thought the whole side were, particularly first 45 minutes. They really took the game to Rangers and probably surprised them a little bit with their intent and the tempo they played.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Martin was there to get the rewards and he was outstanding. I obviously know him well, he plays for the Australia national team and he is a threat.

“But we have always tried to deal with these things in a collective sense. If we play our football and are dominant the way we have been, then we limit the opportunities for any player in the opposition to cause us problems – whether they have pace or strength or whatever it is they bring.

“It will still come down to us controlling the game so it’s played on our terms and that’s what we will try and do on the weekend.”

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Boyle has already scored against Celtic this season so the Bhoys defence know all about him. He has the pace and finishing ability to keep the team on their toes at Hampden.

Celtic will be ambitious on and off the ball, but that will leave space for Hibs and Boyle to exploit, so full concentration and awareness of his movement is required.

There’s no doubt Boyle was excellent against Rangers, but the Bhoys have the chance to show today they can counter that threat better than the Ibrox side and pick up silverware at the first attempt this season.

It could go a long way to re-asserting dominance in Scottish football.

In other news, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou reacts to Jack Ross dismissal from Hibs ahead of cup final.