Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou believes that his side’s previous Hampden Park success in this season’s Premier Sports Cup final will help his side as they get set to face Glasgow rivals Rangers in Mount Florida this Sunday.

As the Hoops gear up for their third trip to the country’s national stadium this campaign, the last time they were at Hampden, Ange and his squad were lifting the League Cup trophy after a 2-1 victory over Hibernian.

And heading into Sunday’s game, the former Socceroos manager believes that could help his side, having the previous experience at that ground. But, the key issue for Postecoglou remains that his team must go and play their football this weekend.

“I think it (the cup win this season) helps in terms of having them gone through a couple of experiences now at Hampden,” he said, as quoted by Sun Sport.

“With this group of players, the semi-final and the final were their first trips there, so I’m sure it will help.

“We’ll have some that haven’t experienced that yet – Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley or Ideguchi haven’t experienced that, so it will be great for them to get a taste.

“But again, people are looking for all these things that could potentially be an advantage or a disadvantage.

“I still fall back on the key thing for us being to go out and play our football; that has to be our focus on the weekend.”

With such a new group of players, the experience of playing on the large Hampden Park surface will certainly be a good thing for a number of the squad.

At the same time, as Ange mentions, this will be a first for the likes of Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda. But, the conditions of this Sunday’s game feel like the perfect opportunity for these players to make their mark at Hampden.

It will be interesting to see if that is something the manager leans into with his starting 11 selection. The difference between now and our last trip there are undoubtedly massive, given the improvement in squad since December.


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