"You've got no chance"; Ex-Dundee boss admits he was overwhelmed by Ange's Celtic

By Euan Davidson

March 15, 2022

Former Dundee boss James McPake had a few battles with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side this season, before somewhat unfairly being relieved of his duties at Dens Park.

It was definitely a mixed bag for Celtic against McPake’s Dundee this season. There was a 6-0 win, yes, but also a closer-fought 4-2 away victory, in which Dundee looked threatening.

McPake, who has already discussed the long, supportive chats he had with Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, gave his take on tonight’s Go Radio Football Show, where he was joined by Hoops favourite John Hartson. Giving his take on the title race, and who was tougher to face out of Celtic and Rangers, McPake was pretty clear.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

On the Go Radio Football Show [15/3, c. 17.15], McPake said: “The first time we went to Celtic Park when Ange was just there, it hadn’t quite clicked. Kyogo made his debut and they beat us 6-0. I don’t remember that one very well. But they were great that day and you could see something was building.

“The game when Celtic came to Dens [Park], they killed us again. They scored the early goal, then they got another one, and they were relentless.

“You’ve no chance when they do that. You think you’ve got a chance, then they come out again at the start of the second half. That’s one thing I noticed about Celtic – they’re very aggressive at the start of both halves, and they’re ultra-aggressive once they get a goal.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Former Dundee boss James McPake doesn’t mince his words when it comes to Ange’s Celtic

James McPake doesn’t really have any skin in the race between Celtic and Rangers. He wasn’t associated with either club as a player, and isn’t exactly vying for a place in either team’s dugout. The guy is being asked based on his experiences of playing Celtic.

So, it’s worth listening. He wouldn’t exactly be the only one from around the SPFL singing Ange’s praises, would he?

For what it’s worth, the job he did getting Dundee back into the Premiership, building the squad he did, remains impressive. He’ll surely be back in management before too long.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

His observations here, though, are interesting. Ange Postecoglou must be quite the opposition manager to face.

Celtic do have a tendency of starting both halves quickly. That goes back to Ange’s early message in his now famous Mic’d up training session, about having a break at half time and the end, being relentless on the pitch. That the team practice what he preaches has been a source of joy for Celtic supporters this season.

Perhaps Ange will inspire a raft of imitators in the SPFL. That’d be no bad thing, considering the tactics of some of the teams we’ve faced this season.

Either way, McPake’s respectful comments show what it’s like to go up against Ange’s Celtic.

It doesn’t sound like a great deal of fun, to be honest.

Read more: Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou’s squad building abilities came to the fore last night