"Terribly difficult"; Banik Ostrava boss fronts up on facing Celtic, makes EPL comparison

By John McGinley

July 14, 2022

Banik Ostrava boss Pavel Vrba was left impressed with the performance of Celtic on Wednesday night after watching his team fall to a 4-2 defeat.

There was a party atmosphere in the Mestsky Stadion, with Banik celebrating their 100th anniversary. However, Celtic were in no mood to pander to sentimentality, producing a pretty ruthless display.

Goals from Kyogo Furuhashi, Matt O’Riley, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Liel Abada powered the Bhoys to the win. Vrba admitted after the match that his team will not face players of Celtic’s quality often.

Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Speaking to iSport, he said: “Conceding four goals is not quite optimal, but Celtic won the Scottish league and qualified for the Champions League. They have a completely different budget.

“It’s terribly difficult to play against such individuals. You don’t see them anywhere else. For me, Celtic and Rangers are at the level of the English league.

“We were more active in the second half, we had two or three chances and could have made it more dramatic. The positive thing was that we played until the end. And of course the atmosphere. I haven’t experienced that for a long time, you don’t see such things in the Czech Republic. Ostrava is exceptional. If the fans support us in the league, I believe we will return the favour by playing good football.”

Vrba is an experienced manager in his homeland, winning multiple titles and taking charge of the national team for a while, so he knows a good team when he sees one.

Having faced Rangers last season as manager of Sparta Prague, he knows what Scottish football is all about too.

Last night’s fixture clearly meant a lot to the Czech team and their supporters, so it should be seen as an honour that Celtic were invited along to take part.

It was beneficial for the Hoops to play a pre-season friendly in such a vibrant atmosphere against a team eager to actually win the match.

Hopefully Ange Postecoglou got what he wanted out of the 90 minutes as we move closer to competitive action starting at the end of the month.

In other news, Ange’s astute choice, combos clicking; 3 things we learned as Celtic spoil Banik Ostrava party.