ANGE POSTECOGLOU admitted the Hampden playing surface is now fit for a soccer showpiece.

The Celtic boss criticised the pitch following the holders’ 2-0 win over Kilmarnock in the Viaplay League Cup semi-final last month.

To be fair to the groundsmen at the national stadium, Glasgow suffered a torrential downpour all day and both sets of players had difficulty keeping their balance in a dodgy tie that was settled by strikes from Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis, with his last goal for the club before his switch to MLS club Atlanta United.

HAIL, ANGE…Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou braves the elements at rain-lashed Hampden before last month’s Viaplay League Cup semi-final win over Kilmarnock.

Postecoglou inspected the surface yesterday and gave it the thumbs up before Sunday’s grand finale against Michael Beale’s Ibrox side.

The Greek-Australian gaffer said: “It’s definitely in better condition than it was on semi-final day.

“Hopefully, with the weather holding out over the next few days, it should be in much better condition.

“It’s a game that everyone will be watching, not just within Scotland but all over the globe. The pitch is part of the event and you want to present it well. So it looks okay.”

The champions have sampled just one domestic defeat in the current crusade – the totally inexplicable 2-0 collapse to St Mirren in Paisley in September – and Postecoglou has every intention of retaining the first piece of silverware he picked up as Celtic manager when two second-half goals from Kyogo Furuhashi downed Hibs 2-1 in December 2021.

THUMB’S UP…Ange Postecoglou displays his pleasure as Celtic survive a storm to book a Cup Final spot at Hampden on Sunday.

He added: “I think that when you have been on a run like we have, and with the consistency that we have, you have to overcome different challenges.

“And the lads have been really good at overcoming whatever is before us.

“The whole pitch thing is not just a challenge, this is an event to showcase our football.

“You’ve got two good footballing teams, the pitch and the stadium are part of that event and you want them to be presented well. Hopefully, it looks good.”

Asked if he envisaged a potential memorable football match, Postecoglou, speaking to the Scottish Sun, answered: “Yes, I hope so.

“Obviously, I want to win but you want to win a game that people talk about — so, hopefully, it is a classic.”


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