Ange Postecoglou admits Celtic now face Rangers ‘challenge’ after dropping standards
Kevin Van Veen's second-half strike cancelled Callum McGregor's deflected first-half opener as Celtic dropped points at home for the first time this season. Postecoglou admitted that his team will need to pick over the bones of a below par performance ahead of facing Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden next weekend.
"Obviously it's a disappointing outcome and the performance was not really at the levels we've shown before," he said. "When you set the standards we set you've just got to make sure you're doing everything within your control to maintain and reach those standards. We conceded a really poor goal which is unlike us, and that seemed to filter through into our play after that. We were trying to chase the game a little bit which we've been pretty good at not doing. But it's only natural that the guys are going to try and make amends and score a goal but I thought we lacked the composure to do that."
The result brought an end to a 38-game winning sequence at Celtic Park in domestic matches. "That's the standards we set,” Postecoglou added. “We'd rather have high standards and fall short than accept something less. The lads are disappointed because they want to be better and today we didn't reach the levels we want to.”
Asked if the display had given him extra food for thought ahead of facing Rangers, Postecoglou replied: "Every game is an opportunity for us to improve. We do what we normally do and review the game. We just have to lick our wounds and get on with it. That's the game of football. You can't just expect everything to run smoothly. It's a little bit of a challenge for us now to get over this disappointment and focus on a big game next week.”
Celtic were without key figures Reo Hatate and Jota and Postecoglou admitted they are not certain to return in time for the Hampden showdown. "We'll see with the boys that didn't play today,” he added. “They are all pretty close but they need to train all week to be involved. We'll see how they all are. "
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