Ange Postecoglou takes responsibility for "badly prepared" Celtic even after creditable Champions League display

Celtic manager Ange Postecolgou looked inward as he assessed the tenure-opening 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland that offers his team a fighting chance of qualification to the third qualifying round of the Champions League when the clubs meeting in the tie’s return leg next Wednesday.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou shows his frustrations on an evening that delivered more with the 1-1 draw in the Champions League qualifier than was anticipated against FC Midtjylland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Beset by problems in advance of his competitive opener, the Greek-Australain had suggested the club hadn’t moved quickly enough to recruit new faces, the only debutatant at Parkhead for game, Liel Abada, netting 40 minutes into his debut – only for Nir Bitton to earn a needless red card just afterwards.

However, as he reflected on encounter in which his team delivered drive, determination and a degree of deftness that confounded lowly expectations, Postecoglou opted to change tack.

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“I am confident tonight that will go [to Denmark] and put in a good performance with the spirit we have. I can't ask any more of the players,” he said. "Sometimes the result belies the facts before you. We will be better prepared no doubt, in eight days' time.

"In fact I don't think we will ever be as badly prepared as we were tonight and that's on me, going into such an important game. It is on me. I’m the manager of the football club. I’m the one that takes that responsibility of providing support for the players and staff. If things aren’t happening it’s on me to make them happen.”

Postecoglou was in no mood to castigate Bitton for his jab to the face Anders Dreyer that earned him a second yellow, or question keeper Vasilis Barkas for appearing to lose the flight of Evander’s free-kick and display soft hands in failing to keep out what proved the 72nd minute equaliser.

"I’m getting a lot of glass half empty questions,” he said. “I think there was plenty of positives rather than people looking for little things that potentially didn’t go right. I thought it was a decent strike, we limited them to a couple of shots on goal with a really brand new back four.

"The midfield worked their socks off. The amount of running that [Ismaila] Soro and Cal [Callum McGregor] and Ryan Christie did was unbelievable. I’m frustrated at the result because the players didn’t get the result I thought they deserved.”

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