Sport Postecoglou: I'm responsible for Celtic failure in market
Ange Postecoglou dismayed by Celtic injuries as he welcomes 'exciting' new signing
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is counting the cost of his efforts to get his squad up to speed in time for their Champions League opener next week after suffering fresh injury blows in the 0-0 friendly draw at Bristol City on Wednesday night. © Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his team's Champi... Midfielder Ismaila Soro and winger Mikey Johnston both suffered suspected hamstring strains, while forward Karamoko Dembele also limped off.
Ange Postecoglou suggested he might not have been forceful enough in his demands for new signings as he took responsibility for Celtic's latest Champions League failure.
Celtic missed out on the group stages for a fourth year running as a 2-1 extra-time defeat by Midtjylland consigned them to a 3-2 aggregate loss and a Europa League qualifier against Czech side Jablonec.
Celtic have made five summer signings but two of them are in quarantine and another two, young former Sheffield Wednesday pair Osaze Urhoghide and Liam Shaw, did not get off the bench in Denmark.
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With the crucial qualifier on the horizon it's been a late kick-off to the summer overhaul in Glasgow's east end.The Parkhead club’s new chief executive may have spent the last few years fumbling around with oddly shaped balls but be in no doubt, when he opted to accept this hospital pass he demonstrated that his are made of steel.
The only new arrival to feature was 19-year-old Liel Abada, who could not build on his goalscoring debut in a quiet display.
Postecoglou had a back four with an average age of 21, only had two fit strikers, and replaced Vasilis Barkas with Scott Bain as Celtic's failure to address their goalkeeping problems again cost them over the two legs.
Few Celtic fans will blame the manager, who expressed frustration over the club's "hesitation" in the transfer market before the first leg, but the Australian shouldered the burden.
"I take responsibility," he said. "I'm the person who has been put in charge. We haven't got players in, I obviously haven't done a good enough job convincing people we needed to bring people in.
"I'm not going to shy away from it. I don't say that because I'm some kind of martyr, I just think that's my responsibility, that's why I was brought in.
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Celtic are reportedly eyeing up a swoop for Hatayspor forward Aaron Boupendza this summer.According to Media Time, as relayed by TBRF, the Hoops are prioritising the signing of Hatayspor striker Boupendza as they attempt to bolster their strikeforce and provide some competition to Odsonne Edouard this summer.
"I have been trying to be as forceful as I can about what we need to bring in, and the challenges we have had are well chronicled.
"Irrespective of the result tonight, we still need reinforcements. We had a really young squad out there, young players on the bench. It's not a situation we need to be in."Midtjylland 2-1 Celtic (agg: 3-2) - ReportHow the teams lined up | Match statsChampions League third qualifying round drawChampions League results | FixturesGet Sky Sports | Scottish Premiership live on Sky
When asked if some people had not understood how thin his squad was and the urgency of the situation, Postecoglou said: "Maybe I wasn't clear enough, I don't know.
"I think I have been pretty consistent in saying we need more players. The club is working hard to get those players in. I have talked endlessly about the challenges we face.
"Our supporters just want to see us bring in the reinforcements that we need, and I have just got to keep reinforcing my views on it as strongly as I can."
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The midfielder was on the wrong end of a Hammering against David Moyes' side but there But the Hoops midfielder insists the damage suffered by the friendly defeat won’t curtail their fight for Champions League football.
Celtic will rue a number of key moments over both legs, including Nir Bitton's needless first-leg red card and a huge blunder from Barkas that gifted the Danes a Parkhead equaliser.
They led in Denmark through Callum McGregor's 25-yard volley three minutes into the second half and James Forrest missed a sitter a minute after coming on for Abada.
The hosts levelled a minute later after Greg Taylor lost his marker and Celtic offered nothing in response after going behind four minutes into extra-time.
"I can't fault the effort of the players, they worked their socks off," Postecoglou said.
"We controlled the game, scored, had a good chance to go 2-0 up and straight away they scored and we lost a bit of momentum. We just looked a bit tired in the end and lacking a little bit of energy to get back into the game.
"Big moments cost us. Moments change games and we had some pretty good moments.
"That's frustrating but when you look at the back four we put out there, the average age of those boys, it was an enormous effort to keep us in the tie."Analysis: Are we really that surprised?
Sky Sports' Andy Walker:
Celtic must seal deal for 6ft 2 gem who made one error last season, fans would love it - opinion
An update has emerged on Lausanne defender Moritz Jenz, regarding Celtic’s interest in his services. What’s the talk? According to the Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing the centre-back as Ange Postecoglou attempts to bolster his defensive options ahead of next season. The report claims that Brighton are also preparing a £20m bid for […]According to the Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing the centre-back as Ange Postecoglou attempts to bolster his defensive options ahead of next season.
"It's a huge blow but I think you'll find a huge number of Celtic supporters who won't be surprised. The lack of preparation for season-defining games has left the new manager cruelly exposed.
"Postecoglou highlighted last week that he wasn't happy with the lack of transfer activity, and I think when you go with so much inexperience in big games like Celtic have done in Glasgow and here tonight, then it's going to come back and hurt you.
"Midtjylland played a good game and had a stronger squad - they had more legs and they had more energy. Celtic were never in it in extra-time. In the end, I think they deserved it and you could see a goal coming.
"Sadly for Celtic supporters, they'll have to settle with a qualifier for the Europa League."What's next?
Celtic drop into the third qualifying round of the Europa League, where they will face FK Jablonec of the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, they start their Scottish Premiership campaign this Saturday when they visit Hearts, live on Sky Sports Football. Coverage starts at 7.30pm with kick-off at 8pm.
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It's been a problem position at Parkhead but the Australian believes his new recruit can make all the difference this season. Crucially for the manager, they travelled to Celtic light and completed their journeys without excess baggage.