Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou lauds debutant Dane Murray after acknowledging need for more “careful” approach from Nir Bitton

Nir Bitton’s loss proved Dane Murray’s gain as the young centre-back, who only turned 18 a month ago, was thrown on for a first senior appearance following the Israeli’s red-card in the eventual 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland in the clubs’ Champions League second qualifying round first leg.

Dane Murray was declared "outstanding" in his senior debut that followed him being introduced to Celtic's Champions League draw with Midtjylland as a result of Nir Bitton being red-carded. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

And Celtic manager Ange Postecolgou – who had to partner Murray with 21-year-old Stephen Welsh following the Israeli’s dismissal following a second booking earned when he jabbed angrily in the face of Anders Dreyer after the winger’s attempt to win a penalty just before the interval – preferred to focus on how his team admirably reset to perform creditably subsequent to going down to ten men rather than round on Bitton for his reckless behaviour.

However, the Greek-Australian did concede: “Nir had already been booked and when you’ve been booked you have to be careful in your actions. When you infringe again, you give the opportunity to the referee to give you another caution. It’s disappointing for him more than anything, because he was really keen to put in a strong performance. He had started really well for us, so it’s disappointing for him that he misses the second game as well.

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“The important thing for me was the reaction from the players. I thought the two young centre-halves Dane and Welsh, in a Champions League fixture, were outstanding. If there’s one area to improve? I thought we gave away some unnecessary fouls. They only got into our box a couple of times and in that sense defensively we did a great job."

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