ANGE POSTECOGLOU had every right to hammer his players after their lacklustre performance in the dismal loss to the local side in the opening game of the Sydney Super Cup.
The frustrated Celtic gaffer didn’t even attempt to hide his disappointment in his first game in his adopted homeland of Australia since he left for Japan in 2017.
The Hoops were turned over by a team that have won only two of their six games in the A-League and, as well as tucking two goals behind the blameless Benji Siegrist, also fired the ball off the crossbar THREE times in the first-half.
Postecoglou, as CQN reported, admitted: “I’m not a violin player, mate. We get on with it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHOW SO FAR? Ange Postecoglou is far from impressed.
“We were nowhere near it today. We set expectations and levels, and if we fall below that then it’s disappointing, irrespective of the circumstances or what the environment or the competition is.”
The players will get the opportunity to atone in the early hours of tomorrow morning in the 3.45am kick-off UK time when they face Everton in the Accor Stadium in the second and final match in the inaugral competition.
Chris Sutton insists the Greek-Australian was quite correct to air his views in such a manner.
The former Hoops striker said: “Ange Postecoglou gave his Celtic squad a bit of a battering after they lost their bounce game with Sydney.
“But the players shouldn’t be feeling sorry for themselves that their manager dug them out in public after a meaningless friendly. They should be grateful.
“I have no problem whatsoever at Postecoglou’s criticism of the side following the defeat. It just shows he cares about the performance, whether it’s in the Champions League, the Premiership, some exhibition match or even in training.
“The manager has set the standards and he won’t allow them to sip regardless of the scenario.
TALL ORDER…skyscraper midfielder Oliver Abildgaard failed to impress in Sydney.
“Fair play to him. It would have been easy to shrug the shoulders and write off the display as down to jet lag or whatever. I’m sure a few in the dressing room might have had their nose put out of joint given the exhausting schedule Celtic have come through before heading Down Under.
“Signing off for the break with a nine-point lead over Rangers is a superb return, regardless of the disappointment the results – if not the performances – in the Champions League.
“But they should remember it’s this relentless attitude that’s got Celtic to this point and there’s no room to slack off. Even in friendlies.”
Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “Postecoglou would have wanted to put on a bit of a show in front of his home crowd, but the side didn’t do the business.
“A few of them – like Yosuke Ideguchi and Oliver Abildgaard – finally got opportunities, but they didn’t do themselves any favours.
“The message from the manager was loud and clear. If you don’t produce the goods, you won’t be part of his plans. Postecoglou will demand a reaction against Everton.
CRUNCH…Yosuke Ideguchi and Robert Mak clash in a battle for possession.
“The players should, too. I know we used to really enjoy coming up against English teams in these kinds of games. Let’s be honest, we know they look down on the Scottish game – and we knew it back then, as well.
“We saw it as a chance to stick two fingers up at them for once. I took great delight in those regular encounters against the likes of QPR and Fulham when we’d wipe the floor with them.
“The games against the big boys even more so. Everyone remembers the Manchester United game at Old Trafford when we slapped down David Beckham and Co.
“Listen, everyone knows these matches don’t really matter a jot in the grand scheme of things. If Celtic go on and retain the title, there won’t be a single fan talking about a D-list team going down to the A-League outfit.
“But that doesn’t mean they can’t be taken seriously at the time. Especially when there’s the Scotland v England factor involved.
“Postecoglou gets the fact he’s also got a duty to the supporters.”
Sutton added: “I get the sense Postecoglou has unfinished business in the Champions League. He’s got a taste for it now and he’ll want another bash to prove his philosophy can get results at that level.
“Getting back there next season will be fuel for the title race this year. He’s already made it clear he’ll be happy to move players on for profit to help fund his grand plan and that should be fine with the player, as well.
“That means performing, developing and improving. It could lead to big moves that will benefit them and the club, and Postecoglou has shown he has a terrific eye for a player, so there should be no fears about finding replacements.
“If the Celtic squad maintains their standards, everyone will be a winner.
“And if they don’t, they know from the other day the kind of response they can expect from their manager.”