Ange Postecoglou full of praise for Celtic as Shakhtar boss hails 'incredible' visitors

Ange Postecoglou told his Celtic players they would eventually get their rewards if they repeat the “excellent” performance against Shakhtar Donetsk that gained them a first point in the Champions League.

The Hoops dominated for the vast majority of the game in the Legia Warsaw municipal stadium but had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The Scottish champions had several chances even before Artem Bondarenko put through his own net in the 10th minute following a penetrating run from Reo Hatate.

Hide Ad

Shakhtar equalised out of the blue in the 29th minute after a pass inside Josip Juranovic gave left-winger Mykhaylo Mudryk a clear run at goal.

Hide Ad

Former Celtic winger Marian Shved had a goal disallowed for offside and forced a good stop from Joe Hart as Shakhtar enjoyed a bounce until half-time.

But Postecoglou’s side regained control immediately after the interval and substitutes Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda missed the best of a series of opportunities.

Hide Ad

“The performance was excellent,” the Celtic manager said.

“Obviously the result was not reflective of that but I thought in the whole game the players gave everything and that’s all I can ask for.

Hide Ad
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group F match against Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

“We needed that second goal and we had good chances to get it. From my perspective I can’t ask for more from them.

Hide Ad

“We will get our rewards if we keep playing that kind of football and showing that sort of commitment.”

Celtic also missed chances during their 3-0 opening defeat to Real Madrid but Postecoglou was more upbeat this week.

Hide Ad

“I think more significant than the point is the performance,” he said.

“It is the highest level of club football, every game is pressurised, every moment of every game is important. I just thought there was real growth in our team and in the way we handled it all.

Hide Ad

“You definitely have to earn everything at this level. Every point and every win will take maximum effort from us and for us to be at our best.

“It wasn’t three points but in terms of the performance I thought that was the most encouraging part. The players really embraced the fact we will have to be at our best all the time for everything we get.”

Hide Ad

Celtic had 16 attempts at goal compared to Shakhtar’s five.

Hide Ad

Postecoglou said: “Last week we were good for 55, 60 minutes and then the opposition sort of got on top of us.

“Here you are away from home and obviously it’s a neutral venue but it’s not your home ground and I just thought that they showed resilience and mental toughness to keep playing our football. At this level I think that is encouraging.

Hide Ad

“We put everything into it. We didn’t get the three points but if we keep doing that I think it will give us a chance of being successful in every game we play.”

Shakhtar manager Igor Jovicevic expressed pride in his players for claiming a point.

Hide Ad

He added: “They are super fast and a super aggressive team and we knew exactly what we were about to face. The pressing, especially in the beginning, was incredible.

“The game was a very good experience. Yes they gave us a very hard time but don’t forget we were supported by 40 million fans in Ukraine and we claimed a point and scored a goal.

Hide Ad

“This game is something to be really proud about. We turned the impossible into possible, we turned the improbable into probable.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.