Skip to main content

Liel Abada earns praise from Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

Celtic v St. Mirren – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Ange Postecoglou tipped his hat to Liel Abada after the teenage winger’s two-goal performance in the 6-0 win over 10-man St Mirren at Parkhead on Saturday.

Midfielder David Turnbull grabbed the headlines with a cinch Premiership hat-trick, the first of his career, but it was his 19-year-old Israel international team mate, signed from Maccabi Petah Tikva in July on a five-year deal, that got the Hoops up and running with two goals in the first 22 minutes.

In between his strike and a header, referee Willie Collum sent off Paisley midfielder Alan Power for a lunging tackle on Turnbull.

French striker Odsonne Edouard scored Celtic’s other goal as the Hoops scored six at home in the league for the second time in a row following a 6-0 win over Dundee earlier in the month.

Asked about Abada, who has now scored four goals in seven games this season, Hoops boss Postecoglou told CelticTV: “He’s been brilliant. We just threw him in straight away and from the first game he has always been such a positive player and he always wants to be aggressive.

“Sometimes when you are young you can shy away from these things but he doesn’t. It was super that he got his rewards with the goals and obviously David as well.

“It is important for us that we are not relying on one or two to get the goals, that we have multiple threats and Liel and David both showed that they can score for us.”

With six successive wins in all competitions Celtic are in top form ahead of their Europa League play-off tie against AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands on Thursday night where they take a 2-0 lead from the first leg, before travelling to Ibrox on Sunday for the first Old Firm game of the season against Rangers.

Postecoglou said: “You go to into these big games with an opportunity to play our football and Thursday night is a great opportunity, not just in terms of the game but in terms of our season.

“We are disappointed that we went out of the Champions League but we would love to play in the Europa League.

“We would love to take on the biggest and best in Europe so it is a very important game for us.

“We go there with belief, for sure.”

It was a tough afternoon for the visitors whose boss Jim Goodwin was absent from the stadium after testing positive for Covid-19.

Saints welcome St Johnstone to Paisley in their next match and assistant Lee Sharp told SMTV:” “We’ll come back in and prepare as we always do.

“We will liaise with the manager throughout the week until he is back in. The run of games we’ve got coming up are ones we’ve got to look at to push ourselves on. Saturday was always going to be a difficult day.”