Ange Postecoglou still happy to make changes despite Celtic’s loss to St Mirren

Ange Postecoglou file photo
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou will not shy away from making numerous changes just because of their defeat by St Mirren.

Postecoglou made six alterations from the side that drew with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw ahead of losing 2-0 in Paisley before the international break.

It was a first cinch Premiership defeat in 12 months and the former Australia head coach will not over analyse the setback.

Postecoglou, who is still without central-defensive pair Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt plus striker Giorgos Giakoumakis for Saturday’s visit of Motherwell, said: “Every decision we make will be around what team we think will be able to best perform on the day.

“If that means making a number of changes, we make a number of changes. If not, we don’t.

“If we use a result of a game as a backdrop to question everything you do then, mate, you will go nuts in this game.

“Every game is the same for us, when you win lose or draw, you look at the performance, we understand why we didn’t perform on the day, we give the feedback to the players and we move on.

“There’s nothing that comes out of one result that changes my outlook or approach or what we want to achieve as a team.”

Postecoglou will need to rotate his squad ahead of a relentless schedule that sees Celtic playing nine games in October and 13 in total before the break in top-flight football for the World Cup begins after November 12.

“We have obviously known that it’s going to be the case for a while and you just plan for it,” he said.

“In terms of our training, the way we have built this squad, the way we have prepared for 13 games in 42-43 days.

“The process for us is just to look at each game and see how people are travelling from a physical and mental standpoint and make decisions as we go along.”

Postecoglou insisted defeat in Paisley did not shatter any illusion that his side were close to the finished article.

“Just because we have been winning games doesn’t mean we have been dismissing the fact that we still have areas to improve in,” he said.

“The last game was a disappointing one for us, not just the result but the performance.

“We analysed it as we would any other game, gave the feedback to the players and now we are preparing for the next game.

“It’s not about learnings from an overall thing, it’s just about addressing every aspect of the game.

“It’s about our preparation, team selection, how we played the game, different elements of our game that are important to us, whether that’s in a defensive sense or an attacking sense, and then we break it down to the individual.

“The learnings are all about how we progress as a football team. We can’t chart that course according to just results because you end up jumping at shadows, because results sometimes mask true progress.

“Whilst we have been a very, very good team over the last 12-14 months, in terms of our progress, we have been under no illusions that we are nowhere near the team we want to be.

“Along the way, while we have been winning, we have still got areas to improve.

“But this group of players have made enormous jumps in their own development. That’s the encouraging thing for us, irrespective of what the outcome of a game is, they come back in here wanting to be better.”

Sead Haksabanovic, Daizen Maeda and David Turnbull have all shaken off the injuries which affected them with their international teams.

Postecoglou said: “Carl Starfelt is still out and will probably still be a couple of weeks. Cameron Carter-Vickers will miss out again. He is a little bit more advanced so we will see how he is after the weekend.

“Giakoumakis is the only one who came back from international duty with a bit of a niggle. He won’t play but we are confident he should be right after that.”

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