"This club demands it"; Postecoglou's Celtic trophy call
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was quick to highlight the need to compete for all available silverware after his much-altered side beat Ross County 4-1 in Dingwall.
The Aussie made nine changes to the side that put that number of goals past Dundee United at the weekend, but his side made light work of Malky Mackay’s team to put Celtic into the quarter-finals, something Postecoglou insists is a necessity for the club as he looks to retain his first trophy as Celtic manager.
Speaking on Celtic’s official YouTube channel, he said: “Irrespective of my sentimental feelings about it, this football club demands it, we keep saying we need to win every game, we need to strive for every competition, and it’s good being in the next round. It was potentially a difficult one today and to get through it with such a strong performance, it’s good signs for us.
“I obviously made nine changes but credit to the players that came in, some of them making their first start and I thought that our performance was really strong. It’s always a difficult place to come to, a difficult opponent but that’s probably as comfortable as we’ve been coming here and that’s a credit to the players.”
Postecoglou was keen to praise those who came in, with five players making their first starts of the season, but was coy on his team selection for big games in the pipeline against Rangers and Real Madrid.
He said: “I kept talking about our training levels and that’s because the whole squad works hard it’s not just about eleven players and that’s reflected today.
“I keep saying to the boys that they’ll get their opportunity at some point, we’ve had an unusual start in that we’ve had a game a week but that’s over now and we know that we’ve got a lot of games coming with a great frequency and we’re going to need all these boys and just seeing them today gives me the comfort that anyone I need throw in is ready to go and perform at a good level.
“It was important today that we continued after the weekend and if we had a let-down it would’ve been disappointing for us as a club but I think that the performance today was just as strong and we’ll prepare now for the next game.
“I’ll see how the boys recover tonight, see how the ones that didn’t play are and the ones who were left back home and we’ll have a team ready to go.”
It’s a roaring endorsement of the Celtic’s recent recruitment that the team came through a tricky-looking tie almost unscathed despite resting the baulk of the starting eleven from Sunday’s win at Tannadice.
With the fixture-light start to the season now concluded, games are going to come thick and fast until the break for the World Cup in November, and it’s a great sign that Celtic’s squad looks fit to deal with the deluge of matches.
Given that Celtic seem likely to add to the squad before tonight’s deadline, it looks to have been a highly productive transfer window – at least on paper – for Postecoglou’s side.