Ange Postecoglou yesterday dismissed the significance of the events of Celtic’s last visit to Dingwall in December as relevant to tomorrow afternoon’s crucial game. A 97th-minute header from Anthony Ralston gave Celtic’s ten men a 2-1 win at the Highlands in a game where Carl Starfelt was shamefully dismissed by referee Alan Muir.
The Swedish defender was given a yellow for those complaints after being elbowed in the face – without Muir punishing the offender and shortly after receiving his marching orders for a draw. Ange Postecoglou couldn’t say he wasn’t warned about Scottish referees, could he?
December 15, 2021; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland, Scottish Premier League football, Ross County v Celtic; Celtic’s Carl Starfelt speaks to referee Alan Muir following a challenge in which he ended up with a bloody face
December 15, 2021; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland, Scottish Premier League football, Ross County v Celtic; Celtic’s Carl Starfelt shown a yellow card following a challenge in which he ended up with a bloody face
December 15, 2021; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland, Scottish Premier League football, Ross County v Celtic; Celtic’s Carl Starfelt receives his second yellow card of the match and is sent off in the 79th minute
Asked if tomorrow would be a tough challenge after “a really stubborn game” in December, Ange pointed out the teams had met since and Celtic had won comfortably. Greg Taylor was asked the same sort of question at his own press conference and the left-back pointed out that the December game was actually the last time Ross County were beaten at home.
“You come back at a specific point in time, but we’ve played them since then. You can always go back to a certain point and use that as a benchmark, but our benchmark is how we’ve been playing and we’ve been very consistent for a long time,” Ange replied at the press conference. of yesterday.
“We know it’s a challenge because every game is a home and away challenge and Ross County were fantastic especially in the second half. Malky Mackay did a tremendous job with them to bring them in in the top six and we knew that the last time we played them at home.
“We will be ready because they will be a tough opponent but we just want to continue our form which has been pretty consistent,” the Celtic manager said. And with Josip Juranovic confirmed out for a few weeks, Anthony Ralston will be back in the squad, as will the striker who scored a hat-trick in Celtic’s last meeting with Ross County. Giorgos Giakoumakis missed last weekend’s trip to Hampden but is back for the game at Dingwall.
There was another rather similar question which was posed to both Ange Postecoglou and Greg Taylor and which concerned all the pressure being put on Celtic as Ross County made the top six and had already achieved what they had planned to do this season.
Again, Greg Taylor may have given a better answer than his manager, pointing out that Ross County is fighting with Motherwell – who face the rangers today at Fir Park – and Dundee United for the only remaining European spot. The Tannadice club currently have 41 points and will be at home tomorrow against Hearts. Ross County and Motherwell have 40 points this morning before action begins and all three clubs will be aiming for that European spot – so they all have important goals to achieve.
Taylor will also have been delighted to see his former club Kilmarnock come from behind to beat Arbroath last night two games behind in a crowded Rugby Park to win the Championship and with it a place in the Scottish Premiership.
Here’s Ange’s answer to that question about Ross County having already achieved their season goals of making the Top Six. “It could also mean that they play a bit more freely, which makes them a dangerous opponent.
“I don’t know Malky well, but the way he has worked for this team throughout the season, he will push them to finish as high in the league as possible. It’s pretty tight from 4th to 6th and they’ll be a tough opponent and every game will have its little challenges.
“When we play our football and show the right intensity and rhythm in the game, we are hard to stop, whether at home or away,” Ange said.
It’s worth pointing out that the mainstream media might have been better advised to overlook Celtic’s last trip to the Highlands, as it was clearly an embarrassing night for at least one newspaper and also the state-funded broadcaster… lest we forget.
Yeah that was the night the BBC also got a little too excited about dropping points at Dingwall when we didn’t… don’t laugh too much though because you’re paying for that dross biased…