Postecoglou urges Celtic to go distance

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou challenged his players to show more perseverance as they continue their Champions League campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Scottish champions created several good chances against holders Real Madrid last week but ended up losing 3-0.

Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his Real “suffered” in the first half, but Postecglou seemed more frustrated than encouraged after the performance.

The Hoops will now travel to Warsaw, Poland to face a Ukrainian side that stunned RB Leipzig with a 4-1 win in Germany.

“I was a little frustrated and disappointed because it’s not just about playing football for a while,” said Postecglou. “I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t have done it any longer.

“In the context of who we were playing, I understand that you are playing against one of the best teams in the world right now, possibly the best.

“And for us to be able to match them by playing football was encouraging, but I couldn’t see any reason why this couldn’t continue beyond time.

“Looking back, what is disappointing is that when we have suffered, we have suffered again. It wasn’t necessary. “

Postecglou, who will have to do without the injured Carl Starfelt and James McCarthy, who is ill, added: “If we had stayed in the game, there is always the possibility to create again.

“Just because you gave them a fantastic team, we should have recovered and continued to play football. In the end we lost 3-0.

“As encouraging as it was, for me we could have been more competitive for longer in this game. But this is where we are.

“We want to compete at this level, this is what you have to do. At this level, 60 minutes will never be enough. You need to make sure you see the game and be resilient when you need it.

Shakhtar boss Igor Jovicevic hinted that his team would be happy to drop the ball to Celtic and hit it on the break, but Postecglou did not want to enter a pre-match run for positions.

“It’s a Champions League game, we know it’s going to be difficult,” he said. “Each opposition will give us different challenges and, whatever happens, we must be ready to face them.

“Whatever their coach says, whatever I say, we’ll see how the game goes. We will be ready for whatever happens ”.

The game will give Ukrainians in exile the chance to see their team compete on the European stage in an ever-changing situation with the war against Russia in their home country.

There will be a “Stop the War” display on the big screen before the game, but Postecglou wanted to focus on football.

“I understand the context of the question, but in the end this is a Champions League football match and our responsibility, and the responsibility of every club, is to represent ourselves and the people we represent. in the best way.”

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