O’Riley felt Celtic managed Hart dismissal ‘very, very well’ in win

The Premiership leaders played the second-half with ten-men.

Matt O’Riley felt Celtic managed Joe Hart dismissal ‘very, very well’ in win SNS Group

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley feels his side can take heart from their game management after coping well with their latest red card.

The Premiership leaders were 1-0 up at Livingston through Reo Hatate’s penalty when goalkeeper Joe Hart was sent off for crashing into Mo Sangare, but they went on to win 3-0.

O’Riley and Daizen Maeda were also on target for the Hoops as they came through a tough test to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Celtic had two players sent off in their previous game but kept the score down to a 2-0 Champions League defeat by Feyenoord, which could be crucial to their prospects of European progress.

“I thought we managed it very, very well,” O’Riley told Celtic TV.

“We started the game really well, got an early goal and were a bit unfortunate to go down to 10 men when we did, but in saying that, we were pretty much comfortable throughout the whole game.

“Defensively we were really solid from front to back, so I’m really happy.

“It’s about staying calm in your head when it gets to that point because we know we’ve got the quality to keep playing.

“As long as you’re comfortable with the ball, you need to take in situations where you’ve got a man behind you, but as long as you’re comfortable it’s not a problem.

“It was definitely a good test for us in terms of confidence and being able to keep clean sheets.

“Even on Tuesday night against Feyenoord, albeit we had nine men, I think the boys stuck it out for the whole game.”

O’Riley took his goal tally for the season to four in eight matches – matching his total output for the whole of last term.

He said: “I think it’s just about resetting for each game and reminding yourself it’s only the next game, and the next game or training session so you can keep in that frame of mind.

“It’s quite easy to come back to the centre and reset, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

“And I’m feeling really fit which is also a bonus if you feel better on the pitch.”

Livingston manager David Martindale believes Celtic have made progress this week both in Rotterdam and West Lothian.

“I think they showed true character and true spirit when they went down to 10 men,” he added.

“But we shoot ourselves in the foot by giving away a really avoidable second goal. When I look at all three goals, they’re really avoidable.”

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