The one thing about Pittodrie win that has irked Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

February 10, 2022

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has stated that he was left disappointed with the Hoops’ set-piece defending after it almost cost them a valuable victory at Pittodrie.

Despite racing into a 2-goal lead thanks to Jota and Matt O’Riley efforts in the first 45, Celtic didn’t deal with the reaction of Aberdeen well enough. In the second half, the Dons took advantage with 2 set-pieces into the Hoops’ penalty area. Celtic would get the winner through Jota immediately after the equaliser, but it was a reminder that there are still improvements to be made.

Celtic had only conceded 13 goals in the Premiership all season heading into last night. Therefore, you can hardly say that our fragile set-piece defending has been a staple of the season.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

But Ange clearly wasn’t impressed by it as he highlighted it as the main thing that irked him despite the colossal victory.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland post-match, Ange said: “You always expect a reaction. They’re a good team, especially away from home when you’ve been that dominant you expect a reaction one way or another. I thought we could’ve handled it better. We could’ve kept the ball a little bit better and just calmed things down a little bit more.

“We should’ve dealt with the set-pieces better. We’ve been really good at that in recent times, but today I thought that let us down and really that was their main threat. They’re a big team and you kind of know you don’t want to be giving free-kicks or corners away.

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“We did that and we didn’t handle what was coming in as well. So it’s disappointing.”

Still improvements to be made at Celtic despite impressive start to 2022

If anything, Pittodrie was just a timely reminder that not everything is going to be a gimme this season. It could end up being an invaluable lesson given the results we’ve achieved recently against Rangers and Motherwell.

And it’s clear there are still improvements to be made with regards to our concentration levels when teams come at us. The free kicks we gave away for a start were simply far too soft. The fact we then initially caved in to concede a second after Christian Ramirez’s first was also disappointing.

But for the character of the team going forward and the superb talent we have in the final third, it could’ve been a costly night in the Granite City. In fact, perhaps you could say several months ago it would’ve definitely been costly.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

Of course, perspective is also needed. When Ferguson equalised, it was only the 15th goal we’ve conceded in the league this season. That’s hardly reason to panic. When you play as much football as Celtic do, there are going to be mistakes creeping in from time to time.

Just getting the job done is all that matters. If Ange is able to find areas of improvement whilst still getting the 3 points, then that bodes well for the future.

Hopefully, our set-piece frailties are improved upon ahead of the upcoming games against Raith Rovers and Bodo/Glimt respectively.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou provides promising update on Celtic defender Josip Juranovic