Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou spoke this morning ahead of Monday’s huge Glasgow derby tie at Ibrox, which would see the hoops stretch their lead at the top of the table to an incredible 12 points if victorious.
After starting both matches against Aberdeen and Livingston but then being benched for the game against St Johnstone, it was established that he was dropped due to poor form in the first two matches.
He was then benched again for the game against Hibs, with Daizen Maeda starting as he did against St Johnstone and playing well, scoring a wonder goal.
Jota did eventually make a late substitute appearance, so it was again assumed that Ange had continued to bench him due to his poor form as he obviously seemed fit to play, but Postecoglou explained that wasn’t quite the case.
When asked by Celtic Fans TV if previous experience in this fixture is a factor when it comes to picking the team, Ange replied shaking his head:
“No, again, if you fall into that trap you kind of miss what’s in front of you.”
“My decisions around picking the team are what’s happening currently.”
“Even the last game just becomes a reference for me, because things change.”
“The other day we had Jota fall ill the day before the game and couldn’t train and he was in my plans.”
“So if I sit here and try and think about today what the team’s going to be for Monday then, you know, I’m likely to miss some key information coming in.”
“I always make these decisions having all the information I can to do so.”
“That means you take in training, you take in how the players are feeling, how they’re looking in training, you take into account the opponent, circumstances, it’s everything.”
“When people try and guess my team selections or pass judgement on it, they usually do so with around 40% of the information I have.”
“I’m sure if they had 100% of the information, they may still think I got it wrong, but at the same time, I think they’ll understand why I made my decisions.”
As things stand, Ralston, Welsh, McCarthy and Haksabanovic will all miss out through injury for the derby game on Monday, with new signing Tomoki Iwata unavailable as he is currently still in Japan.
The availability of Johnston and Kobayashi depends on whether international clearance comes through in time for them to be available to play.