Celtic not as damaged by derby defeat as rivals would've hoped

By David Walton

September 9, 2021

Ask any Celtic fan what they think of Ange Postecoglou and they’ll undoubtedly hit out with something positive – not common for a gaffer who’s just lost a derby match.

Indeed, the Hoops lost the first Glasgow derby of the season at Ibrox before the international break. 1-0 was the scoreline thanks to a Filip Helander header. It was a blow. Especially when you consider how confident we were of a result heading into the game due to our blistering start.

But that result was supposed to break us. It was supposed to put our manager under serious pressure. Rangers fans had hoped going into the game that any old win over us would see us crumble once again as we did under Neil Lennon.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After all, they’re been tirelessly pushing this narrative that we’ve actually had a dismal start under Postecoglou. Kris Boyd, for example, has been preaching to anyone who’ll listen that we’ve lost two of four league games [Glasgow Times].

You can’t blame them for doing their best to try to put a negative slant on the Hoops. Postecoglou looks like building something special here. There will be bumps on the road, and the Celtic fans have come to accept that.

Granted, the performance at Ibrox has probably helped the reaction. Celtic were the better side for large spells and had three or four genuinely big opportunities. Once Kyogo Furuhashi was played through the middle, the Hoops created chances galore – a potential sign of what could be done in future derbies.

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Celtic fans are seeing too many positives to be rocked by a derby defeat

Celtic are playing the best football in the country at the moment. They’ve signed players ready to make a big impact in the first-team immediately. Projects have been few and far between – the goal this summer has been to strengthen in most areas with experience and talent. Celtic have achieved this in admirable fashion.

Not to mention that the club has also managed to get rid of the wantaways for decent money. Celtic fans came out of the transfer window with very little to complain about. The three deadline day signings also boosted morale after the disappointing derby defeat.

But the atmosphere surrounding the club and the manager doesn’t typify one that’s just lost the first derby of the season. There’s still some massive momentum there that’s been gained from the positive signs we’ve seen from the team and the manager so far.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Celtic are now finding out how important it is for a manager to instill a philosophy the fans can relate to. Because we know Postecoglou is looking to create something that will stand the test of time here, we realise that’s going to take time. He’ll get it too, so long as he keeps the boat steady.

Heading into the next seven games, it’s clear he needs to go on a run of wins domestically. That won’t faze him, and the Celtic supporters are 100% behind him as he bids to do it.

We return from the international break reinvigorated and re-energised to get going once again. Celtic have a massive point to prove domestically and in Europe.

Are we broken from the derby two weeks ago? Anything but. Bruised perhaps, but even then you’ll do well to see where that punch landed given the recovery in morale.

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