What Joe Hart said about the Celtic support after last-gasp win in Dingwall
Joe Hart has joined the chorus of Celtic players praising the travelling support after a last-gasp win away to Ross County.
In a game that could have huge morale implications for the Hoops going forward, Celtic had two stands full of rowdy supporters. They kept an electric atmosphere going across the 97 minutes of action, and there was understandable bedlam when Anthony Ralston scored a late, late winner to seal all three points.
Ralston paid tribute to the fans in his own way, saying he’d have been right with them if he wasn’t playing for Celtic. Joe Hart, meanwhile, credited the win to the supporters.
Hart took to Instagram, saying: “Thanks to everyone who made the trip, it helped get us over the line. Top effort from the team to make it happen.”
Hart may not have the kind of Celtic-supporting background that guys like Anthony Ralston have. But he’s made himself right at home. With his experience and humility, he’s become not just an integral player for Celtic, but a bona fide fan favourite.
With Celtic fans being pilloried for their exuberance, and the likes of David Tanner calling for something he calls a “behaviour audit”, the Hoops faithful are likely to be the subject of much tutting an hand-wringing for days to come.
But it won’t be from the players.
Joe Hart praises Celtic support, despite a flagrant display of emotion during a football match
Fine, there probably will be a couple of questions for Celtic to answer. Even though the responsibility – if it’s required – is on the Ross County stewards to prevent fans from entering the pitch.
But Joe Hart is right; the Celtic supporters helped to lift the Bhoys’ performance. Both the fans and players were relentless on a difficult night. Given the sheer numbers missing, the makeshift line-up Ange had to put out and the lack of a natural striker, the team needed significant backing.
They got that, and not by half-measures either.
It seems, without delving into conspiracy theories, that there’s a real desperation to take the gloss off a dramatic win. Whether it’s a profound misunderstanding of how stoppage time works, or the Helen Lovejoy-esque reaction to the celebrations.
The likes of Joe Hart and Anthony Ralston get it, though. And while the latter is a die-hard Celtic fan from childhood, Joe Hart has very quickly adapted.
It’s great to see the players backing the supporters, because the media won’t.