Postecoglou to fight on with Celtic strategy despite 5-1 Champions League loss to Real Madrid

    Celtic Manager Ange Postecoglou and Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti during a UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Celtic
    Celtic Manager Ange Postecoglou and Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti (Picture: SNS Group)

    Ange Postecoglou is unshakeable in his belief that Celtic will eventually benefit from his ‘bold’ attacking approach – despite a 5-1 defeat by Real Madrid rounding off the club’s worst Champions League group stage.

    Celtic ended the campaign with two points and a minus-11 goal difference after Jota scored just their fourth Group F goal with a late, curling free-kick in the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

    Postecoglou came under some criticism from pundits including former Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne, who insisted Celtic must soak up more pressure and stop matches turning into ‘basketball games’ with their end-to-end approach if they are to progress.

    However, the Hoops boss is convinced his side will ultimately benefit from playing that way should they return to Europe’s elite competition next season.

    Celtic had 82 attempts at goal over their six matches, more than Paris St Germain, Juventus, Tottenham and both Milan clubs.

    Postecoglou said: ‘The responsibility lies with me because we have taken a bold approach to try to make an impact.

    Ange Postecoglou
    Postecoglou somberly looks on as the Hoops take a thrashing (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘We have paid the price for not having the quality and clinical finishing at one end and the opposition taking advantage at the other. Our first job is to qualify but if we are in it next year I have no doubt we will make more of an impact.

    ‘That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a massive leap – but I don’t think it needs to be. Bridging that gap isn’t immense but it’s the most difficult bit because you’re talking about scoring goals at this level, it’s not the easiest thing to do.

    ‘The away game against Shakhtar was a classic example, we had some great chances. If we win that game, score goals, you build belief. You gain more trust in what we are doing, the players feel more like they belong at this level.’

    He added: ‘We could have lost 2-0 (in Madrid) and created one or two chances and probably not looked as bad. But I just don’t think that’s the way forward, I just don’t think that’s how you make an impact.

    ‘In every game we have had those moments where you get that goal, a second … we just haven’t had that. But I believe if we consistently do that at this level we will get there.’

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