Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou reveals his stance on Bodo Glimt’s time wasting and imminent ‘danger’ to his side
Time may be running out on Celtic’s European adventures this season.
Prospects for a Conference League run – after Champions League and Europa League dips – look very remote after Bodo Glimt’s 3-1 loss to Bodo Glimt in Thursday’s home first leg of the 16-team playoffs final stages of the competition.
Ange Postecoglou’s side have failed on all fronts against the Norwegian champions who they now need to beat by two clear goals this week just to push the tie into extra time. Dominated by an opponent who played smart and dexterous football in Glasgow, Bodo/Glimt was also more adept in the dark arts. Time and time again, they had players go to ground as if badly hit, only to miraculously recover once extra vital seconds were taken off the clock. Postecoglou will demand much more of his men both in the Arctic Circle decider and in their Dundee accommodation that precedes it. But he’ll never look for them to be streetwise, as it’s often euphemistically called in football, the way we witnessed at Celtic Park midweek. This was not countered by Latvian referee Andris Treimanis, but there was a sad and unchanging attitude from the Australian on that front.
“It’s part of football and not something I encourage my teams to do, but you understand why the oppositions do this, it wastes a bit of time,” the Celtic manager said. “It always amuses me when referees say they’re going to add time and that never really happens.” The apparent loss of time extended to Bodo players who came together when they should have taken their positions for the restart in the moments after Celtic reduced the arrears to 2-1 late – only to concede to again instantly. The group gathering was another headache for Postecoglou. “Yes, it was a bit unusual, but I guess when you win you can get away with it a bit,” he said.
A more immediate concern is getting back to winning ways after a first defeat in 18 and retaining the Premiership cinch leadership. It seems Celtic could hardly have picked a game that looked more favorable than Dundee at home. Postecoglou’s men have scored 10 goals in their two league encounters against the second-placed club – six unanswered in Glasgow six months ago – and are now under the shock appointment of Mark McGhee, at following the oddly timed sacking of James McPake. . This development trumps any previous form guide for Postecoglou in Sunday’s plaza assessment.
“There’s a danger in thinking that way,” he said of suggestions that the Dens Park side appear to be a good opponent for his team at the moment. “They have just changed managers and usually when that happens there is a reaction from the group of players. I expect it to be tough, maybe it won’t be as open as the game we had against them here last time. We just have to make sure we understand that we got here not only being free all the time, we had to work our way through the games. Those kind of qualities have to be there as well as the football we play.