What Celtic players proved tonight and what it says about Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

When Anthony Ralston scored the winner for Celtic tonight against Ross County, there was the initial wave of utter relief (for fans and for Ange Postecoglou), then the realisation that I’d have to re-write almost the entirety of an article.

But then, in a moment of calm, I was reminded of something Vince Rugari told 67 Hail Hail two months ago. We were told there’d be a moment just like this, and that the after-effects could be magnificent.

Rugari said: “At some point there’s usually a miracle result, a late winner, some kind of big event or moment, where they stick to the style, even if the logical part part of their brain tells them ‘this isn’t getting us anywhere’.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“And it yields something. It yields the results, and that becomes like a moment of realisation. When the whole group sees that if we do what Ange says, the dividends are actually going to come.”

That is almost eerily accurate for the Celtic game against Ross County. This was a trying night, an often desperately frustrating night, but in the end a victorious night. And it came largely because the Celtic players didn’t panic. Although they will have known how damaging dropped points might’ve been, they stuck with the system.

And when Rogic found Ralston for the winner, the players were vindicated.

It’s much easier to say that players are buying into life under Ange Postecoglou when things are comfortable. When the odds are against us, that’s when it’s a real test.

Test passed.

Ange shares promising Kyogo news, as Maloney set for Celtic reunion | Ross County Preview

Ange shares promising Kyogo news, as Maloney set for Celtic reunion | Ross County Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

The Celtic squad have bought into the Ange Postecoglou methodology, even in tougher times

When Carl Starfelt was sent off, you would’ve thought Celtic, or indeed any team a man down, might have hunkered down and prayed for the best.

Instead, Celtic attacked even more. Owen Moffat provided some energy, while Tom Rogic’s effect on the game was obvious. He’d looked frustrated up to the point when he delivered the vital assist for Anthony Ralston, because it just seemed like the kind of game that wouldn’t go our way.

It wasn’t by any means the prettiest or most satisfying football we’ll ever see, but Celtic stuck the course, and got the benefit. Just as Vince Rugari said they might.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

What happens next is crucial. We’ve talked before about galvanising results; think Aberdeen away, Ferencvaros at home or even the Betis game recently. The kind of wins that have sparked runs and kept Celtic well within reach of the league summit.

Well, next for Celtic is a Cup Final. The test are coming with relentless pace, but the chance for significant rewards is within grasp.

Celtic stayed the course with Ange’s style even with the deck loaded against us. That’s the kind of moment that could be something we look back on in months to come.

Read more: Ange vindicated, Starfelt struggles; 3 things we learned from Celtic win over Ross County