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From Stevenage to Madrid- Ange Postecoglou’s huge vote of confidence

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Ange Postecoglou is trusting his midfield rookies against the master of that role.

Twelve months ago Luka Modric was plotting his way towards adding another Champions League winners medal while Matt O’Riley was preparing for an FA Cup tie against Stevenage while Reo Hatate was wondering how he would cope with following Kyogo Furuhashi into Europe.

On Champions League Matchday One the two Celts fared well for an hour before Eden Hazard joined in with Real finding an additional gear to run out 3-0 winners.

Tonight the Celtic duo get another crack at the highest standards in the game with their boss telling the Daily Record that their European careers are only in their infancy:

Matt O’Riley was playing at MK Dons 12 months ago Reo Hatate was in Japan. It’s not like this group of players have been in Europe for the past three or four years.

They haven’t had hardening European football. Their test has been this year, that’s it. We’ve thrown them in. So this is another massive test for all those boys. But so far they haven’t let me down. I know we have come short and we’re disappointed with results, but they have gone out there and done exactly what I have asked of them.

They have been brave and haven’t feared anybody. They have been really determined to make an impact at this level. This will be another test of that.

There will be no more European football for Celtic after tonight but six matches in the Champions League are more testing than a decade in the domestic game against opponents with only damage limitation in mind.

Celtic won’t be on a damage limitation exercise tonight with Postecoglou determined to see just where his players stand- and how far they have to go to turn promise and potential into results.

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  • Scud Missile says:

    Lol the next sponsor or logo on the sevco shirt must be GUINNESS.

  • the maister says:

    U’ve got me there, Scud!?

  • the maister says:

    You have to hand it to Ange – and the players, particularly. They have put up a competitive performance in all the UCL games. Yes, we lack experience at this level, as a team. But we have acquired it this year, with a decent campaign! It would have been a lot easier to throw in the towel. But we never did that at all!

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