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Ange Postecoglou praises strike duo as Celtic tenure begins with friendly win

Ange Postecoglou Unveiling – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ange Postecoglou praised scoring strikers Odsonne Edouard and Albian Ajeti after his tenure as Celtic boss began with a 3-1 friendly win over Sheffield Wednesday.

In a match played behind closed doors at the Hoops’ training camp in Newport, the former Australia manager fielded two teams of mostly youngsters in total over the three periods of 30 minutes.

Former Rangers attacker Josh Windass opened the scoring for The Owls after only three minutes but Ajeti levelled with a drive from 16 yards in the 33rd minute.

Owen Moffat, 19, drove in a second in the 77th minute from the edge of the box and French striker Edouard added a third with an angled-drive in the final minute.

Postecoglou told CelticTV: “They did a lot of work, not just scoring their goals but off the ball as well.

“We need our strikers to work hard and I thought Albian and Odsonne worked really hard with our press and they got their rewards.

“For both of them, scoring goals gives them that confidence.

“We didn’t have a great start to the game, we took a while to get into it.

“We had a solid session yesterday and I felt the boys probably felt it a little bit.

“But they grew into the game and to their credit, I thought the better part of the first half and definitely in the second half we played some decent stuff and scored a couple of good goals and then finished strong.

“There is nothing wrong with winning, absolutely.

“Particularly in the manner we did because we didn’t start well and didn’t play well and you go a goal down.

“It shows you that there is a bit of spirit there within the boys who weren’t prepared to accept that which is a positive sign.”

Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor and David Turnbull – late to return to pre-season training after being with Scotland at Euro 2020 – were absent as were other experienced players such as Leigh Griffiths, Kristoffer Ajer and James Forrest, who is self-isolating after being named as a close contact to a positive Covid-19 case.

Postecoglou is likely to give some of them game time in the friendly against Charlton Athletic at the same venue on Saturday.

He said: “We will see how everyone is.

“Obviously the lads who played today were the ones who were with us from the start (of pre-season).

“We need to make sure that we don’t throw guys in too early.

“Looking at some of the international boys and some of the others who came back in good condition, I think they will play a part at the weekend.”