ANGE POSTECOGLOU revealed he is attempting to fast-track a successful Celtic team the “unbelievable” supporters deserve.
The disappointing 3-1 Champions League loss to RB Leipzig has been reviewed and now the manager is aiming to make sure there is no banana skin at McDiarmid Park in the 12.30pm kick-off against St Johnstone as the champions go in search of three more points.
Skipper Callum McGregor, of course, was already due to miss the Premiership encounter through suspension after last week’s red card in the 2-1 win over Motherwell at Parkhead.
However, the knee injury sustained in the first-half at the Red Bull Arena would have kept him sidelined in any case and the Greek-Australian gaffer has already warned the problem will not be “short term”, as CQN reported earlier today.
BEST FOOT FORWARD…Cameron Carter-Vickers may be poised for a comeback.
David Turnbull is also out of the trip to Perth with a touch of tonsilitis while there is a chance that centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, out for the last three games, and midfielder Aaron Mooy, who missed the trip to Germany, could be available after their recent injuries.
Winger Liel Abada, of course, will be in the squad after remaining at home for religious reasons.
Reflecting on the midweek disappointment, Postecoglou said: “We have to stick to our principles and make sure the basic fundamentals of our game are there.
“The principles are based around being aggressive and positive in our approach, but it’s easy to talk about.
“The next thing about going through experiences like that is learning from it and growing, and my role within that is showing the tools which exist to do that.
“There’s a lot of clubs like us who want to make an impact at the Champions League level and there’s a process to getting there.
I’M BACK…Liel Abada celebrates his hat-trick in the 9-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice in August.
“For clubs of our size who are getting there, it takes time. I would love to fast-track the process and I’m trying to, and I think the way you make greater progress is by being brave and bold and not looking to survive.”
Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “Our fans were unbelievable in Germany, it felt like we were in Glasgow, it was amazing.
“They create such a good atmosphere wherever they go and they supported us unbelievably.
“They’re disappointed about the outcome, but that’s just fans being passionate and caring, I have no issue with that.
“But they also acknowledge we didn’t go to Leipzig to survive, we went there to try and create something special. I think for the most part if people see endeavour, then they’re encouraged by that.
“So, from our perspective it’s right we acknowledged them because as I said before, we have Champions League support, now we need a Champions League team.”
EUROPEAN DREAMS…Ange Postecoglou is a man on a mission.
The Hoops chief added: “I speak to the players constantly that in elite sport the only way to be truly successful is to be uncomfortable and push yourself and make mistakes.
“You need to test yourself at every moment and that’s where improvement comes from.
“If we want to get to the next level we won’t get there by trying to feel secure at any point, whether that’s domestic level or Champions League level.
“We’ve got to be up for the fight and test ourselves and be positive and take the punches when they come along, dust ourselves, get back up and get back stronger because that’s how you create something special.
“If you would have said we were playing Champions League football 12 months ago and trying to perform against the best in the world then people would say we’ve made decent progress.
“For me, that’s always the key about making progress as a football team and we are and we’re a better side than we were last year and we’re still improving.”