The underrated Celtic trait instilled by Ange that has led to a 9-point boost

By David Walton

May 9, 2022

On Saturday, Celtic had to come back from 1-0 down against Hearts in order to power themselves to within a point of the Premiership title.

Indeed, Ellis Simms’ gave Robbie Neilson’s side a shock lead at Celtic Park, and it led to a nervy opening period in which it took the Hoops until the half-hour mark to respond. In the end, it would be comfortable, and the truth is there was never really much doubt even at 1-0 as to what the final outcome would be

The reason being that coming back from losing the first goal is hardly something that’s been an issue for Celtic domestically this season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ever since our defeat to Livingston back in September, Celtic have gone behind on only 4 different occasions domestically. 3 of which came in the Premiership with the other in the Premier Sports Cup final vs Hibs.

Indeed, Hibernian, Dundee, Rangers, and now Hearts have all taken 1-goal leads against us since September and have all ended up on the end of a defeat.

Yes, there were some early glitches in our domestic season that we all know about. We did lose to Hearts, Rangers, and Livi. However, since that incredible run, we’ve turned the game around every time we’ve conceded the opening goal. That’s an incredible level of character that’s been instilled into this squad by the manager.

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Celtic have made big improvement in turning around deficits this season

Compare that to last season under Neil Lennon and latterly John Kennedy. We went behind on 15 different occasions last season domestically and only managed to win 3 of them. That was with a settled side too.

It’s incredible just how few times we’ve actually conceded the first goal since September for a start. But when we have done, we’ve managed to find the character within the group to turn the games around.

This has been key in our title push too. Take those 9 points from us and we’re sitting behind our rivals and extreme underdogs for the title. Without those comeback victories, we wouldn’t be in the same position.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It bodes well for next season when we’ll hopefully be able to show similar character in Europe. The UEFA Champions League is bound to throw us its hurdles and coming from behind will undoubtedly be one of them.

It’s just another indication of the progress made from last season. And to be doing it with an entirely new squad of players that hasn’t yet been together for a full year tells its own story.

Credit to the manager and the players for how they’ve responded to adversity this year. It all looks set to finalise with a fitting title-winning evening on Wednesday at Tannadice.

In other news, Celtic hero Daizen Maeda ready to blow everyone away next season