Celtic boss Postecoglou has right attitude despite low expectations for tonight

By Euan Davidson

September 16, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is quickly becoming the ideal spokesperson for the club across a range of issues.

Whether it’s dealing with off the pitch dramas, vaccine passports or the Europa League, Postecoglou is media dynamite. While his gruff demeanour can be read as low tolerance for questions, it’s not quite as clear-cut as that. Arguably, he actually embraces the chance to talk about football, societal issues and his own personal ambitions.

That was clear yesterday [Celtic FC], in press duties that dealt primarily with how many injuries Celtic have for this evening’s game against Real Betis. Instead of moaning, or blaming bad luck, he’s still determined to impress supporters and play his way.

Regardless of the team he has to put out, Postecoglou is talking about creating new memories. About embracing history. And, foremost, about his guiding principles and taking on veteran managers with great players.

Throughout, it’s earnestness and honesty that’s punctuated every Postecoglou press conference or interview. He’s not putting on a front to mask the problems with his squad. Or, even, at boardroom level. It’s not unfounded, pointless optimism.

He’s a manager who says what he believes and believes what he says. Despite the huge injury problems ahead of tonight, it’s impossible to listen to him and not still think we have a chance against Betis.

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

If Celtic are up against it tonight, you wouldn’t know it from listening to Ange Postecoglou

Critics will call it delusion, but Celtic fans have comprehensively bought into the belief that Postecoglou is instilling.

Yes, fine, he’s not going to break into tears at a press conference and strop about wanting Callum McGregor and Kyogo Furuhashi to play tonight. Nonetheless, his steely resolve is genuinely impressive.

In many ways, that makes him the perfect person to be leading Celtic right now. Excuses, bemoaning misfortune and being publicly bewildered by the scale of our challenges just wouldn’t wash just now.

In some respects, we saw that last season.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

So, yes, tonight is a huge challenge. Despite their rocky start to the season, Betis are playing at home, and have the tools to create real problems for Celtic tonight.

You can read an exhaustive preview of what to expect from Betis here.

It would be a big ask of even a fully-fit Celtic squad tonight, given the turnover of players and how early we still are in Ange’s tenure at the club.

But try listening to him and ruling us out tonight. I can’t, can you?

In other news: Report: Celtic B Team embroiled in SFA and Lowland League row