Ange Postecoglou admits Celtic got what they deserved on Champions League return

Ange Postecoglou believes Celtic have got what they deserved following a challenging return to the Champions League stage.

Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk extinguished the slim chance that the Parkhead side could secure a Europa League play-off round berth.

They have taken just two points from five games and have what is potentially the most difficult assignment of all still to come at the Bernebeu against Real Madrid next week.

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But Postecoglou is not the type to feel sorry for himself. He does not subscribe to the notion that his side have been in any way unlucky despite winning plaudits for their adventurous approach.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou cuts a solemn figure at full-time after the 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk which ended Celtic's European hopes. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“We knew what the demands were going to be,” he said. “We have got what we have deserved. It is not like I am walking away thinking we could have got more. Yes, we could have. But we didn’t because we fell short in key areas. When the opportunities are there, you have to take them.

“You try to minimise the opportunities the opposition have. We have fallen short in those areas and that’s why we didn’t end up getting more out of this group. In every game I thought we were in every game. I thought we had opportunities to make an impact. From our perspective, we are disappointed.”

The Celtic manager cannot be accused of lacking boldness. He pitched strikers Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis together up front against Shakhtar Donetsk. It was only the second time they had started a game together.

“I thought it worked well enough for the most part,” he said. “We maybe lacked that wee bit of composure when we got the ball back in good areas. We didn’t take advantage. But Giako scored and Kyogo had a great chance to get one himself.”

Postecoglou takes his side to play in-form Livingston on Sunday before the trip to Spain. Maintaining their position at the top of the Premiership is essential in terms of the club’s ambition to become regular Champions League participants.

“It will be a missed opportunity if we don’t qualify next year,” he said. “What we’ve gained this year will help us become a better football club at this level.”

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