DEFIANT Ange Postecoglou insists Celtic will get over their rocky passage – starting tomorrow night when they face Championship Raith Rovers in the League Cup quarter-final at Parkhead.
The Greek-Australian manager and the team are in the midst of the fall-out of their third consecutive Premiership away defeat of the season at Livingston following losses at Tynecastle and Ibrox.
They have performed well in the east end of Glasgow, but their form on the road has raised some serious question marks.
The Hoops boss, though, is refusing to panic and said: “It would be great to have a full complement of players. We’re obviously missing our skipper, Callum McGregor, and top goalscorer, Kyogo Furuhashi.
FACING UP TO HARD TIMES…Ange Postecoglou remains defiant. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
“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 come out with positive outcomes, then that means things will settle down – and they will settle down.
“It’s a very unusual period. I’ve been through periods in my career where there’s a lot of disruptions and very little chance to settle.
“But they always pass and we have to stay strong, calm and clearly know what our objectives are.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s visit of the Fifers, Postecoglou, speaking to the Celtic website, added: “As always, we scout the opponents and we’ve had people watching them.
“Cup games are a little bit different to the league games, with both teams aware that everything hinges on that day, so we’re expecting a tough game.
“We’re expecting an opponent who will be determined to try and stop us and our job is to make sure, particularly at home, that we impose ourselves on them and try to create an atmosphere and a football environment that makes it difficult for them.
UNHAPPY HAT-TRICK…Callum McGregor is out for a third successive game.
“I don’t think there’s extra motivation or extra anything because of the disappointment last year and I don’t think there would be any less pressure if we had won everything last year.
“The expectations at this football club are constant, and they should be because that’s the history of it.
“It’s pretty evident that all the competitions we’re in are important, so, irrespective of how we may be travelling in one, from our perspective we want to try and succeed in all the competitions we’re in and tomorrow night is a good opportunity for us to get a step closer to playing in a Final.
“So, it’s a big game for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
Captain McGregor will miss his third successive game through a hamstring injury, but striker Giorgos Giakomakis is set to be included in the squad for the first time since his £2.5million arrival from Dutch side VVV-Venlo on deadline day.
Postecoglou commented: “He’s had a good solid week of training. He feels pretty good and, hopefully, we’ll get him some game-time tomorrow and build from there.”
Left-back Boli Bolingoli made a surprise start for the first time in over a year at Livi and the gaffer added: “In terms of his future, I don’t know why he’s any different to anyone else here.
“He’s part of the squad, he’s part of the playing group and that’s why he was selected on the weekend.
“I haven’t decided my starting 11 for tomorrow, but he’ll definitely be part of the squad.”