'Brilliant' Celtic fans praised but Ange Postecoglou makes 'well off it' admission after Sydney defeat

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou refused to consider the patchwork nature of the starting line-up he selected could offer any mitigation for the desperate nature of his team’s display in their 2-1 loss to Sydney FC.

A clearly irked Postecoglou made no bones about how unacceptable the defeat in the Sydney Cup opener was as he faced the Celtic TV cameras. Even as it was put to him that some players had gone into the encounter on the back of glut of football in recent weeks while others - such as the deeply unimpressive Alexandro Bernabei, Oliver Abildgaard and Yosuke Ideguchi - hadn’t had the opposite build-up. As he batted that away, Postecoglou targeted an entirely different showing in the clash with Everton on Sunday in the club’s second outing in a competition billed as his homecoming. Thus far, an unsatisfactory one.

“Irrespectively of whether boys have been playing or haven’t been playing, we were well off it and nowhere near the level we need to be,” he said. “In football if you are not, then you don’t get the outcomes you need. It was an entertaining game, I thought there was plenty of good goalmouth action from both teams. But we were well off it today. To Syndey’s credit - especially in the first half - they had the better chances and deserved to win. We will recover from this and get ready for Sunday.”

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A strong contingent of Celtic supporters were present in the half-full 42,000 capacity Allianz Stadium but that fact seemed only to engender further regret from the 57-year-old. “They were brilliant, as always,” he said. “Whether it is round the world or back home, with their passion for their football club they always make a great atmosphere. Unfortunately we couldn't reward them tonight but we will hope to do that on Sunday. We will have a session on Saturday and prepare as we always do. And make sure we have the mindset we need to be successful.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou looks on during the Sydney Super Cup defeat to Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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