Postecoglou happy as Celtic keep their levels high against Motherwell

Daizen Maeda’s deflected strike completed the 4-0 win over Motherwell.

Postecoglou happy as Celtic keep their levels high against Motherwell SNS Group

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou praised his players for maintaining the standards set in Wednesday’s derby win after they thrashed Motherwell 4-0 at Fir Park.

The Premiership leaders showed no sign of a comedown following the high of their 3-0 win over Rangers as Liel Abada’s opener and a double from Tom Rogic put them three up at half-time for the second game running.

This time Celtic continued their dominance and Daizen Maeda’s deflected strike completed the rout, but the scoreline could have been even more emphatic.

“I was pleased with that, especially after Wednesday night,” Postecoglou said.

“The players invested a lot emotionally and physically and credit to the players, I thought it was first rate.

“We are human beings. It’s not just like I say ‘we focus on the next one’ and they can put it to bed. It takes its toll.

“I watched training on Saturday and, even the guys who didn’t play, the training was relentless and really competitive. So I kind of knew we would be fine.”

Celtic cut fourth-placed Motherwell open time and time again with some impressive free-flowing football which furnished Postecoglou with immense satisfaction.

“I do enjoy it because that’s how I want my teams to play,” the Australian said.

“I’d be frustrated if we were winning and not playing the football I want.

“My role is to manage on the day and help the team where I can. But I do get a joy because I know it will give our support that joy.

“I think just instinctively players enjoy playing that way as well. You see at 4-0 that they’re trying to get a fifth, a sixth, they’re not stopping even when they haven’t got the ball. They’re still chasing things down.

“I think everyone enjoyed it. It’s not easy to get to that place, it requires a lot of hard work.

“But when you get to that place it kind of feeds into itself because people want more of it.”

Celtic have now won six consecutive league games and gone 23 domestic matches unbeaten,.

“They understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, what our goals and aims are, and how together they can achieve these things on a game-by-game basis,” Postecoglou said of his players.

“When you’ve got a unity of purpose like that and collectively they are all buying into it, then belief grows, because you’re not relying on individuals to drive the whole thing.”

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander felt he had to go with his usual approach rather than sit back but admitted it was hard to compete with Celtic on such form.

“It’s difficult on all levels but first and foremost they are a quality team who work their socks off and have a great humility about themselves and how they go about things,” Alexander said.

“It’s not just about what they do on the ball, it’s how hard they make it for you when you’ve got the ball.

“It’s a difficult one because you try to get that first goal to give yourselves something to play for, but if they get it, it’s extremely difficult.

“I thought we were growing into the game but they have the quality to hit you on the counter. We could have defended the first goal a lot better but we also have to acknowledge they are a fantastic team with a lot of good players.

“They just beat a team like that on Wednesday who have lost once in 65-70 games. So they can do it against anyone.”

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