‘Terrible’ Celtic’s away agony must end to save their title bid, admits boss Ange Postecoglou after latest defeat left them down in sixth place and with no wins on the road since February
- Celtic slumped to a 1-0 loss at Livingston on Sunday, yet another away defeat
- Manager Ange Postecoglou admitted ‘in the front half we were terrible’
- But their problems away from home stretch way back into last winter
- Their latest defeat on the road has left Celtic already way off the pace
Ange Postecoglou has urged Celtic to find a cure for their chronic travel sickness after their latest on-the-road setback in Livingston.
Andrew Shinnie’s 25th-minute strike secured a first league win of the season for David Martindale’s team as the Parkhead side slid to their third Premiership defeat in six games.
Branding his side’s display ‘terrible’, Postecoglou has now won just once in seven away games and admits that has to change for sixth-placed Celtic to have any hope of staging a title challenge.
Celtic slumped to yet another away defeat on Sunday, this time a narrow loss at Livingston
Also without a league victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena since March 2006, Celtic have failed to win on their five visits since Livi’s return to the Premiership. Their last away win in the league of any description came at St Johnstone on February 14 when Neil Lennon was still boss.
‘In the other away games, we were well in the games and played well,’ said Postecoglou (pictured).
‘But you know what? On the other hand, if we don’t get results away from home then we can’t be successful, so that’s still got to change. Irrespective of what I think about performances, we’ve still got to get the results, and that’s the reality of it.
‘Until we tackle that in the right way, then we’re going to have this problem.
‘Today is disappointing because you come here knowing it’s not going to be an easy game and you’re going to have to go beyond just trying to play some football.
‘We lacked that spark at the start of the game. I just felt we fell into the trap of maybe thinking that this kind of game with the challenges it has, our football would find a solution through that.
‘That was never going to happen — we needed to earn the right.’
Celtic’s travelling support have had very little to cheer over the past seven months
Livingston’s Andrew Shinnie (centre) celebrates scoring his side’s winner on Sunday
Beaten 4-3 by Real Betis in the Europa League in Seville last Thursday night, Postecoglou insists the midweek exertions were irrelevant to yesterday’s dismal performance.
‘I think if you start looking for those kind of excuses, then you fall into a trap,’ he said.
‘The problem was we didn’t start the game well, and that’s my responsibility, maybe in the way I prepared the team and maybe the way we prepared for this game wasn’t right.
‘Our front-third play was poor, it was the poorest it’s been all year.
‘We’ve obviously had some issues defensively, but I just thought today in the front half we were terrible.
‘That was everybody, not just the strikers or the attacking players, we lacked a real conviction in going forward to be positive. That falls on me to get it right.’
Ange Postecoglou admitted his side can forget winning the title unless away form improves
Celtic were again missing captain Callum McGregor and new Greek striker Georgios Giakoumakis, as well as talisman Kyogo Furuhashi, but the first two could be back for the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final against Raith Rovers on Thursday.
Explaining the shock decision to pitch Boli Bolingoli in for his first appearance in 13 months since breaking Covid rules and skipping the country, Postecoglou said: ‘Boli has been training well and we thought it was a good game to give him a start with Greg (Taylor) going down and Monty (Adam Montgomery) playing 90 minutes the other night. It was a big ask to ask him to start, and Liam Scales isn’t quite ready yet.
‘We gave him an opportunity today, he’s been training well.
‘We’ve now got the cup game on Thursday, which is important for us, so we’ll focus on that and make sure we prepare well.’