"The biggest thing"; John Kennedy left impressed by maturity of Celtic's Perth performance

By Lewis Laird

February 8, 2023

Celtic assistant coach John Kennedy has expressed what left him most impressed about the Hoops 4-1 victory over St Johnstone last weekend.

The Bhoys ran out comfortable winners over the Perth side last Sunday, with goals coming from Kyogo Furuhashi, Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull, as well as a first-half own goal.

Ange Postecoglou’s side made light work of the Saints. However, it could have been a different afternoon due to the difficult playing surface.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

This Celtic team are known for their fast, slick, attacking play. So the bobbly grass surface at McDiarmid Park had the potential to add another dimension to the fixture.

However, the Celtic squad didn’t let that become an excuse and impressively continued to play their football against St Johnstone.

Reflecting on Sunday’s victory, Hoops assistant coach John Kennedy admitted that was one of the most impressive aspects of the victory.

Instead of letting excuses creep in, the squad simply chose to ignore that and played their football, earning the rewards for another top performance.

He said [Celtic FC]: “I think it says a lot in terms of where the team is at and how it is kind of growing over the last 18 months.

You go there (McDiarmid Park), and that can become a very difficult game if you get lost using excuses about the pitch or the conditions; whatever else it might be.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“But the players are firmly focused on the task, and they continue to do what we always ask. The manager is a very big believer in that, just be consistent with what you do.

“I think the biggest thing for me was that you seen a real maturity in the performance. They didn’t get dragged into a bit of a fight on a muddy pitch, they keep trying to play the right way, kept trying to hit the right spaces, and I think first half, you seen the goals came about from that.

“So that was really pleasing. Once you get to 3-0, then you can kind of control the game from there. We didn’t create as much second half, but we still had great control of the game, and like we have been in a lot of the game, we limited the opposition to very little entries into our box.”

He continued: “That’s the challenge in front of you. It’s fine having the excuses, but you just have to deal with it.

“There will be challenges along the way, whether it be in life or in football in general, there will be challenges. So there is no point in stressing about what can go wrong and the excuses around it.

“It’s pretty much how can we fix it? What’s the solutions to that? And the solutions the majority of times are within how we play our game.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic’s squad’s attitude goes right through the club, including coaching staff.

Since Ange Postecoglou’s arrival 18 months ago, there have been countless occasions where I have praised the attitude of this Celtic squad.

There is so much to love about this team, whether it be their never say die attitude or not making excuses over pitches like Sundays.

The Celtic coaching staff, including the likes of John Kennedy, deserve huge credit for their roles to play in building up that attitude amongst the players.

Ange Postecoglou and his coaches won’t allow their squad to make any excuses, and that leads to brilliant performances such as the weekends against St Johnstone.

In other news, Tomoki Iwata names the impressive Celtic stalwart he is hoping to learn from.