Ange Pre-Match Press Conference

Despite having a game against Hibernian tomorrow, a high percentage of Ange Postecoglou’s pre-match press conference was taken up by questions on the upcoming International break; the manager took the time to answer all questions and was liberal in his distribution of his use of the word mate.

Starting with the rare questions on tomorrow’s game, Ange confirmed that Aaron Mooy and Tomoki Iwata will miss out through injury but that Greg Taylor, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Daizen Maeda, and Carl Starfelt are all available for selection.

When asked if Celtic enjoy playing against Hibs due to the high number of goals we have scored against them in recent matches, Ange responded that:

“We enjoy playing every team mate.  Every game is an opportunity for us to play our football and make sure that we maintain the standards and performances and improve on them, so it’s another challenge for us.”

“Hibs had been a good run of form before the last game, prior to that they’ve been seven unbeaten. They brought in some good young talent during the January window.”

Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi’s omission from the Japan squad was raised, with Ange expertly batting away the perceived opinions of Hajime Moriyasu that the Scottish Premiership is of a lower standard.

“Both boys are playing really, really well.  It’s disappointing for them they haven’t been selected but that’s the nature of international football and it comes down to the national team manager’s decisions and whatever decisions they make.”

“In terms of disrespectful, it’s one person’s opinion and I’m not really sure that we should make too many far-reaching conclusions. If you come here next week, you’ll probably find that we don’t have many players training. The reason for that is they’re away playing international football.”

“We had five players at the World Cup who all did OK, probably better than OK. We have had players – Josip Juranovic and Moritz Jenz – leave our football club and they’re playing regularly in the Bundesliga, which is a top-five league. Unless, once they go into those clubs, they magically become better footballers, I’d suggest that the selection of individual players doesn’t come down to the level of the league.”

Moving away from talk of the international break, Ange also found the time to praise the work that John Kennedy is doing on the training field, planning the sessions, maintaining a competitive edge, and ensuring that the team is set to face up to any eventuality on the park.

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