Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou appeals to Green Brigade to drop silent protests

Celtic manager has appealed for fans’ backing in the face of the Green Brigade’s plan for another silent protest at Sunday’s game at home to Motherwell.

Celtic fans protest against Bernard Higgins during the Europa League victory for Ange Postecoglou's men against Real Betis. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic fans protest against Bernard Higgins during the Europa League victory for Ange Postecoglou's men against Real Betis. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Across the 3-2 win over Real Betis on Thursday the ultras group continued to register their opposition to the club’s plan to appoint assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins to a senior security role. They refused to engage with the game, deliberately choosing to avoid bringing the noise and colour with which they are synonymous. Postecoglou has suggested a similar show of disgruntlement over the Higgins appointment at Celtic Park this weekend would be regrettable and damaging to the ambience crucial to driving his players on.

“My hope and wish for it is that for 90 minutes we all come together as a football club,” he said. “Because that’s what special about this football club – that 90 minutes, anyone who plays in that atmosphere knows it’s so special. So from my point of view I much prefer it when the crowd are right behind the boys. They both feed off each other’s energy. Hopefully that returns.”

In the face of such a backdrop, and the fact he fielded a largely shadow first XI composed of no fewer than nine players under the age of 22, the Celtic manager did not dispute that the victory over the side currently third in La Liga was one of the most memorable of his debut season at the club – even if it had no impact on a Europa League campaign already over in a competitive sense.

“Absolutely,” he said of the success being notable. “I don’t dismiss it when you win a European game. We have won three in this group against some tough opposition. Real Betis beat Barcelona last weekend and anyone who watched this match would see how much they wanted to win it. They threw everything at us. It’s a good sign for us. Apart from our football, there was desire and character in the team to be successful and create some special moments. Nights like this help that. There is a real resilience within this group. Maybe that got questioned earlier in the year but you can see now that whatever’s thrown at them, they are finding ways to win games of football.”

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