ANGE POSTECOGLOU will send out his Celtic players against Dundee tomorrow afternoon with a three-point objective.
ONE: Make sure there are no mistakes and to pick up three points after last week’s setback at Tynecastle;
TWO: Turn Parkhead into a fortress once again, a venue for opponents to fear;
THREE: Get the fans onside, ensure victory with a bit of style and become crowdpleasers at the same time.
The club will welcome back 24,500 supporters to the game against the Dens Park visitors, the first time a crowd has been allowed into the stadium for a league match since the 5-0 win over St Mirren on March 7 last year on their way to a history-equalling ninth successive title before the Covid lockdown.
And there will be thousands more in the ground for Thursday’s return Europa League qualifier against Jablonec after the 4-2 triumph in Thursday’s first outing in the Czech Republic.
MAN ON A MISSION…Ange Postecoglou has big plans at Celtic.
Postecoglou said: “It is a good game for us because we were disappointed last week with the way the game ended against Hearts.
“It is important for our league campaign that at home we put in a strong performance and we get a good result.
“To have success this year, we need to start winning games on a consistent basis. It won’t be a full house, but there will still be 25,000-odd in there and it’ll be a good challenge.
“I think it works both ways. There’s no doubt it’s an important ingredient in playing games at home, the energy a crowd gives you.
“Last week playing at Hearts, you could tell their crowd really gave them some energy. I’m sure that’s what the supporters will give us, but we’ve got to give them some hope and belief, as well. The energy goes both ways. If they see a team have a willing desire to play aggressive football at home and take it to our opponents, they’ll get behind us.
“We’ve got to have them believe in what we’re doing. But home form and a home record is crucially important if you want to have success.”
The new Hoops boss is aware how crucial it is for the club to get off the mark in the points-gathering business and they must avoid a banana skin against the newly-promoted Tayside club.
NUMBER ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi scores his first Celtic goal as he nets against Jablonec on Thursday.
TRIUMPHANT…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates after rolling in the Hoops’ second goal in the Czech Republic.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Glasgow Times, added: “I understand that. But, for me, we’ve just got to keep improving our football. I’m a real believer if we do that, the results will come.
“There’s no doubt that, particularly at home, we want to be a team that consistently wins and doesn’t give too much away. That has to start on Sunday. The result is important, but my gut always tells me it’s the football that will get you there.
“And if we want to be aiming for success this year in a meaningful way, we have to keep improving our football. Even a win tomorrow, if it’s not convincing, would still show me we have a way to go.
GREEN FOR GO…James McCarthy can’t wait to get started at Celtic. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
“Dundee are a good side and Hearts showed last week that every team can be tough to crack. If we continually stick to our football, when we do that, in every game where we’ve played those periods when we’ve controlled the game the way I want to, we’ve looked really good.
“We just haven’t been able to do it consistently.”
New Bhoys Joe Hart, Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi are poised to take their bow in the east end of Glasgow, but the match has come too swiftly for James McCarthy who agreed a four-year contract on Tuesday. The Republic of Ireland midfielder has been training on his own since leaving Crytsal Palace at the end of the season.
Liel Abada, who scored on his Parkhead debut in the 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland, is also ready to play his first league match at the stadium.