ANGE POSTECOGLOU was reluctant to use injuries and call offs since coming in as an excuse for their poor away form.
The manager has been dealt a rough hand when it comes to players being out. He lost James Forrest early on and then after Kyogo made a big impact, an international injury has left the striker sidelined.
Adding to that, captain Callum McGregor has been out since the Ross County win, missing the last two games where Celtic have suffered defeats to Real Betis and Livingston away from home.
Ange realises there’s going to be challenges at any football club and he’s been through periods like this before. The Australian is certain things will settle down but also believes playing with their backs against the wall can be character building in the short term.
“I kind of get it, there’s always challenges, every manager will tell you. That’s why I never comment on other managers predicaments because I know we’ve all got individual challenges.
“Yes, it would have been great to have a full complement of players, we’re obviously missing our skipper and top goalscorer.
“You can start to think these things are piling up against you or you can see it as an opportunity to build resilience. If we can get through this period and still come out with positive outcomes when things settle down, and they will settle down.
“It’s a very unusual period, I’ve been through periods myself in my career when there’s a lot of disruptions, with very little chance to settle – but they always pass, the key thing through that we stay strong, calm and clearly know what our objectives are and not waiver from that.
“You can go around thinking the possibilities of what we can do if we had everyone available but that’s not in our control, what is in our control is we’ve got a game tomorrow night, an opportunity to get through to the next round of the competition and that’s where our focus is.”
Asked if playing two fixtures a week was helpful in the goal of getting the players to gel. Ange sees it as more of a hinderence at the moment:
“It depends, at the moment, it’s not helpful because we’ve got a really limited amount of players to call on. We’re calling on the same players all the time, I think that has had an effect on some of the injuries we’ve had. You could say, with the current state of our squad it would be better if we didn’t have midweek games but then I’d be talking about things that aren’t our reality. The reality is we do have games midweek, we’ve got games right through this period and we’ve got to crack on.
“This initial period was always going to be a rollercoaster for us and that’s how it’s proved in terms of results. That’s not unexpected, we just have to keep strong through this and keep our resolve to what we’re trying to build.”
The Celtic manager has come in for some criticism in recent times from the mainstream media with many of them looking for Ange to abandon what he’s been working on while chasing short term results.
The manager is clear, if he continues down the path he is currently on with this side, things will click and it will benefit the club in the long run.
We need to remember this is a rebuild. Short term pain for long term gain.