The half-time pep talk from Ange that ignited Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate’s ‘fighting spirit’

By Patrick Sinat

May 25, 2023

It was 0-0 at half-time in Tynecastle. Celtic had to win to officially wrap up the title and Hearts were down to ten men after Alex Cochrane was given his marching orders just before the break.

In what was the biggest game of the season, Reo Hatate was struggling after just returning from injury. The Celtic midfielder has been pivotal in Ange Postecoglou’s side this season. But on that day in Edinburgh, the Japanese midfielder just couldn’t find a spark.

Until Ange Postecoglou stepped in. Hatate has revealed the half-time conversation with the Celtic manager that motivated him to turn in a second-half performance that helped the team to an eventual 2-0 win in the capital.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hatate said in his column in Sportiva, “Ange appeared in the dressing room at half-time against Hearts and, using the footage, said to me, ‘Reo is not playing the role we want him to play, both offensively and defensively. He’s not working hard at all.

“Hearing those words, I felt my body and mind switch on.

‘If you say that to me, I’ll definitely look back in the second half.’

“I could say that my fighting spirit was ignited. Even so, I kept a cool head.” [translated by Deep L]

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hatate turned in a much better performance and created an assist for Celtic’s opener by playing in Kyogo on the 67th minute.

This is a fascinating insight into how Ange Postecoglou man manages his team and motivates them to produce better performances.

Of course, we have always known that the Celtic manager is a great motivational speaker. We have all seen the viral videos of his time as the manager of the Socceroos.

But to hear how he goes about his business at Celtic and how he gets the best from his players shows why he is so respected within the Parkhead dressing room.

In other news, Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila takes over at Club Brugge