There is a strength of mentality and togetherness at Celtic these days | OneFootball

There is a strength of mentality and togetherness at Celtic these days

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The Celtic Star

Celtic’s performance at Kilmarnock yesterday was certainly out of the top drawer. Yet despite the high tempo dismantling of Derek McInnes’ newly promoted side it was the attitude of the Celtic players that manager Ange Postecoglou highlighted post-match on Sky Sports.

“We knew that (the pitch) was one of our challenges today, along with it being a hot day to try and play the football we want to. The Bhoys’ attitude was first rate. It was a great start for us. Last week we scored late and we said we want to wear teams down. That doesn’t discount the fact we want to start strong and put teams away early.”

There is no doubting Kilmarnock’s plastic pitch, particularly on a hot day – and when not watered by the home side – can, and aften has been, prohibitive for Celtic teams looking to play fast paced attacking football.

Yesterday, prior to the game, Postecoglou was keen to highlight the surface would not result in any change of tack from Celtic. And after 90 minutes, five goals and as good a performance at Rugby Park as many of us will remember, the manager’s decision to stick to his footballing philosophy certainly paid dividends – and much of that, as the manager pointed out post-match, was as much down to attitude as it was to ability.

Pre-match McInnes had appeared quite bullish in his side’s chances when he hinted his gameplan would be about slowing Celtic down by breaking up the play with fouls intended to halt our momentum, yet by full-time the Killie manager had to admit his teams were miles off what he expected.

“We’re not ready to take on Celtic yet, but we are better than what we showed today, certainly with our defending.”

Killie did revert to the darker arts with Rory McKenzie, Alan Power – and the player who has become a parody of himself, the now finished as an effective footballer Kyle Lafferty – all trying to blur the lines of footballing legality, as they sought to try and bully Celtic into submission.

But in truth they could rarely get close enough to Celtic players to really have a telling impact on the game. And as much as Celtic’s ability to move the ball paved the way for an incredible win in Ayrshire, so too did the attitude exhibited by the Celtic players. They simply didn’t let the disruptive tactics of the Kilmarnock side, or the conditions the game was played in, get to them one little bit.

Postecoglou has often claimed the character of his players is just as important as the footballing ability they possess. There can be little argument there is a togetherness emerging throughout the Celtic squad, something that comes as a result of a manager trusting in those intangibles, as much as any footballing ability this talented squad of players has measured in post-game statistics.

It doesn’t just smell like team spirit at Celtic at this moment in time, it reeks of it. And it should be that, as much as the frightening football Celtic appear to produce at will, that will be the cause for concern for every club Celtic will face in this season’s title race.

A 5-0 win at a ground most of us would have been happy to go to and grab three points by hook or by crook, shows there is a strength of mentality and togetherness at Celtic these days that is every bit a match for the footballing abilities they exhibit on a weekly basis – and that certainly bodes well for the season ahead.

Niall J

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