John Kennedy was on press duties instead of Ange Postecoglou this week, as the Celtic assistant previewed Celtic’s first home match in almost a month against St Mirren.
Off the back of the big disappointment of a poor result and performance in last week’s derby, Kennedy discussed the squad’s response in training and objectives for the rest of the season.
Questioned over a potential drop in standards of performance, Ange’s number-two was assertive that the squad’s winning mentality and strong depth would prevent such an occurrence.
He said: “We won’t allow that. The manager has got very high standards in that respect, he savours every game we have, and we have got to maximise every opportunity we get.
“We are obviously disappointed with last week but we have to look forward to the weekend. The fact there is a cup final, there are always places to play for so nobody is guaranteed a spot in the team.”
In the wake of last week’s loss, the 39 year-old believes the experience can be of benefit to the squad’s experienced and inexperienced players, with manager Postecoglou having stated his aim to move up a level next season.
I was keen to ask him about the tactical lessons learned from the game at Ibrox, which was one of much possession for Celtic despite a lack of final-third action and the team ultimately being soundly beaten.
“We were probably as wasteful with it as we’ve been,” he said.
“In terms of decision-making, execution and the technical side of the game, and that gave Rangers the opportunities to hit us on counter-attacks.
“It’s a reminder to us as a group that you’ve constantly got to be on it. You can’t drop ten percent because we know how much that effects our game.
“In the right moments, we’ve got to be quick with our attacks, but also we can work our way up the pitch, be more patient, pin them in there and wait for opportunities to dominate.”
John also confirmed that the squad situation remains the same as last time around, with Alistair Johnston facing a race against time to return to match involvement before the campaign’s end.
Three league matches remain for the back-to-back champions, with the final two Celtic Park fixtures sandwiching Wednesday’s trip to Easter Road before attention turns to a potentially treble-clinching day at Hampden.
Tune in to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly as we discuss Learning Lessons In Defeat. Kyogo’s Personal Treble & Celtic’s “No Ego” Environment.
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