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‘I’M NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY,’ INSISTS POSTECOGLOU

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ANGE POSTECOGLOU expects Celtic to improve in the coming weeks after last night’s 3-0 victory over Jablonec for a 7-2 aggregate success over the Czech Republic opponents.

The Hoops boss was delighted after watching two goals from David Turnbull and an opportunitic effort from James Forrest make certain there were no banana skins at a packed Parkhead with the team booking play-off place in the final against AZ Alkmaar with the first leg due in Glasgow on Wednesday.

After a faltering start as he tried to put his Celtic jigsaw together, Postecoglou’s side have now put together three successive wins and scored 13 goals in the process with the strikes shared among nine players.

PARADISE…Ange Postecoglou celebrates David Turnbull’s opening strike.

In total, the club has hit the opposition’s net 16 times with Japanese frontman Kyogo Furuhashi is the leading marksman with four, Anthony Ralston, Liel Abada, Turnbull and Forrest are on two while there have been single strikes from Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard.

The team is now getting into its stride, but the Greek-Australian gaffer insisted the best is yet to come.

Postecoglou stressed: “I said at the weekend, I didn’t feel like we were struggling before then, so you try and keep and even keel and focus on the performances.

“Equally, I’m not getting carried away now, we are only just beginning. Players are only just starting to understand the game that we want to play.

“Of course, wins and good performances builds belief, for sure, and that’s what we want to keep doing, but we are far from the finished article.

“We were disappointed when we dropped out of the Champions League and now we’ve got a chance to stay and compete in the Europa League.

“It’s a tough ask against a good quality opponent in AZ, but we want to be in the competitions that we qualify for.”

Asked if he reckoned his players are ready for the challenge of the team who were runners up in the Eredivise last season, Postecoglou answered: “It’s hard for me, I don’t want to measure our progress.

HAPPY DAZE…Ange Postecoglou shares the joy with his backroom staff.

“I like seeing it as game to game and there has to be more in us because we have only literally had three or four weeks together as a group.

“Some of the players have only been playing for a couple of weeks, so there has to be improvement in us.

“Every week we get a chance to measure that and Sunday is another good test against Hearts.”

Postecoglou saluted his double-hitman Turnbull, and, in the report in the Daily Record, added: “Dave (Turnbull) has been great the whole way through, but I think he has got a little bit frustrated with himself that he hasn’t scored, and it was great for him to get two goals. But his football has been great for us all the way through.

“And there was a great opportunity for us to give James (Forrest) a start.

“It was great that he got his goal and he worked awfully hard. Tommy Rogic,  I thought, was outstanding, and Cal (McGregor) led that midfield really well.

“The back four were great and Joe Hart was there when he was needed.

“For us, at the weekend it was Ryan Christie and Kyogo Furuhashi who got the headlines, but on this occasion it was two or three other guys and that’s the kind of team we want to be.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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