Ange Postecoglou purrs over 'best' Celtic display since his arrival and gives Tom Rogic injury prognosis

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hailed his side’s first half display in their 3-1 win away to Hibs as the high water mark of his time in Scotland.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou celebrates at full time after the 3-1 win over Hibs at Easter Road. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

An exhilarating 30 minutes that produced three goals and a host of opportunities set Celtic up for a first league win at Easter Road in seven years, and moved Posecoglou’s men to within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Rangers. And the 56-year-old, appointed in early June, could only purr at the attacking verve of his men.

“I thought first half was outstanding, best football we’ve played all year,” the Celtic manager said. “Away from home, against a good team, it was an outstanding effort. We had to defend in the second half and cope with that and I felt we handled it very well. We knew it was going to be a challenge for us. We saw signs of the team we want to be.”

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Celtic now have the opportunity to go top of the table for at least 24 hours when they host Livingston on Saturday as Rangers are not in action until travelling to Motherwell on Sunday, but Postecoglou’s immediate concern is not the placings in the top flight.

“We need to keep focusing on getting better,” the Celtic manager said. “We’re a lot more settled and we’re getting more options within the 11. That has helped. But that’s the key for us, to keep improving. Tonight was a good performance but we know we can get better. We could have scored more, had good chances when we could have been more ruthless in the box. You are not going to score every chance you create. But on the chances we created in the first half, they were quality openings.

“There has to be more to come otherwise I’m not doing my job.

“I felt that after the international break [in October], it was a kind of beginning for us. We had been trying to grind our way through a series of games. After that, I felt we could really start now, building the team we want. We’re still improving. We’re still very much embryonic in terms of the players understanding what they have to do. But we’re getting there.”

On a night when keper Joe Hart once again showed his importance with two excellent blocks, the only blot was a hamstring problem that forced off a dazzling Tom Rogic a minute before the interval. The issue is likely to see the playmaker unavailable for the weekend, but the Celtic manager didn’t want to look foruther ahead to the club’s trip to Budapest for their pivotal Europa League encounter with Ferencvaros next Thursday.

“Tom did feel something in his hamstring,” said the Celtic manager. “It’s wait and see. We’ll just assess it. He was outstanding in the first half. His ability to find space is second to none. We had three quick boys up front, technically good, and he was key to getting the best out of them. He’s played a lot for us but hopefully he’s OK. I’m not that good [when it comes to a prognosis], I’m not really sure, he said it didn’t feel too bad.”

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