January 27, 2023
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Celtic manager Ange Postekoglou is baffled that some rivals tend to confuse his side with Rangers when discussing games.

Postekoglu believes this trait can work against teams when they talk about historical trends while playing in the “top two”.

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Celtic boss Ange Postekoglou was annoyed by the language used when comparing his team to their rivals.1 credit
On Saturday, Aberdeen faced Celtic, and tonight at Pittodrie hosted the

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On Saturday, Aberdeen faced Celtic, and tonight at Pittodrie hosted the “other half” of the old firm, Rangers.Credit: Kenny Ramsay

The former Australia manager brought up the subject after being asked about Aberdeen’s cautious tactics on Saturday.

The Premier League leaders had 33 shots on goal and 80% possession against a team that managed two shots, both off target, and failed to take a corner.

Don boss Jim Goodwin explained after Celtic’s late 1-0 win that he learned from a recent trip to Ibrox when his team lost 4-1 after he vowed to attack Rangers.

When asked if he noticed that more teams were sitting with their backs to him, Postecoglou replied: “Not really, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’m assuming that Jim created his team to try and get a score against us and every manager is trying to do that.

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“I find a curious thing and it has more to do with the language than anything else – and that I think is driven a bit by you guys in the media – but I also hear opposition coaches and opposition players before we we will play with them, they can.” We don’t seem to be any different from the Rangers at all.

“It’s almost like ‘when you play in the top two, that’s what happens.’ Some even talk about it like it’s a tour. “You’re going to Glasgow and that’s what you expect.”

“I don’t get it because if I call every team other than Rangers ‘the other 10’ and that ‘when we play the other 10 this is what happens’ I don’t respect the fact that Livingston Wednesday will be a different challenge than St Johnstone at the weekend.

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“Even if they can play defensively, they do it differently. Playing at home is different from playing away.

“So we approach every game as if it were a jump race – you respect every obstacle. Just because you’re a few lengths ahead, you don’t walk and worry about the next one.

“It’s a bit of a curiosity because if people assume that something will or won’t work against the Rangers, it’s a reflection of how it’s going to be, we’re completely different teams.

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“From my point of view, it kind of works in our favor if the opposing coaches say so. I don’t think they think so.

“But they say that, and also, putting it in a historical context, it just makes the task impossible. Because you say: “When you play in the top two, this always happened.”

“Well you don’t play the top two, you play Rangers or you play Celtic and you play at home or maybe they have injuries or they had a bad week last week.

“Maybe managers and some players fall into the trap of answering questions because that’s how they get asked questions, but that’s something I sort of struggle with. Not tactics, we all have our own methodology.”

Postekoglu was surprised but not caught by Aberdeen’s tactics.

He added: “We were expecting Aberdeen to probably be a little more aggressive and thought they might actually come out and try to stop us from playing.

“So we prepared for it, but we were also prepared for the fact that maybe they would sit back. So the players were ready for such a scenario.

“But, as I said, a seated Aberdeen is not the same as a seated Livingston because they have different players, they have different formations, different areas where they potentially struggle, different strengths.

“Depending on which wingers we play, which center forwards we play, which full-backs we play, which midfielders we play, it changes our game.

“You saw it over the weekend. The only reason I made a substitution at halftime is because Daizen (Maeda) is more effective for us when there is space behind us and there wasn’t as much as I thought. and Liel (Abada) is better when the teams parked a bit.

“And I don’t mean to be disrespectful to other managers, I’m sure they go into that sort of detail too, but the language they sometimes use just seems like they tend to generalize.

“Postekoglou is expecting a tough tactical showdown on Wednesday against David Martindale’s side, who have brought Celtic to a goalless draw on two of their last three visits to Parkhead.

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“David is someone who does a lot of research on what teams they play for, although he also tends to talk about the two of us rather than me individually.

“It’s always a tough challenge because with Livingston the thing is you know no matter who they play against, they have a certain style and they stick to it, which gives them some confidence in the game.”

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