Ange Potecoglou reckons Celtic are as prepared as they can be at this stage considering some of the difficulties they face and that is a pretty positive slant to be putting on things right now.
Whether it’s the reality or not is a different matter.
Postecoglou is still not in the building at Lennoxtown but I am sure he is working feverishly from his hotel quarantine to get up to speed with where the club is right now.
But it’s not the same until the boots are on the ground and the clock is ticking.
It’s just 32 days until the Champions League qualifier against Midtjylland and there’s a mountain of issues needing addressed at Parkhead.
The Danes are an extremely tough prospect for any new manager’s first game in charge, let alone one who is being forced to play catch up.
You’ve got to think at this point of time it would take a miracle for Postecoglou to lead Celtic to the group stage.
If they can scramble through this round they would hit the likes of PSV, Sparta Prague, Galatasaray and other ominous ties.
They’ll be doing well to clear the first hurdle right now. Going in at the second round stage is actually a disadvantage for Celtic and their new manager this year.
They have more time but usually the first round is a chance to feel your way in and find your feet.
This time they are right in at the deep end.
I know Rangers battered Midtjylland a couple of seasons ago but you only need to see their results last year to see they are a major threat.
They hammered Slavia Prague to get to the Champions League group stage as we all saw what they did to Celtic in the Europa League.
They acquitted themselves pretty well at the top level once they got there. They finished bottom of their group but they held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in Denmark and also got a point against Atalanta in Italy, while pushing Ajax close in both games.
They are clearly no mugs.
Celtic could be up against former player Erik Sviatchenko – or he could even be back at Parkhead.
I don’t think it would be the worst move bringing him back to Glasgow. It was a little bit surprising to see him being allowed to go in the first place as he always looked fairly decent in his time in Scotland.
Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t pull up any trees, but he always seemed to me to be a reliable defender. He’s not the tallest, but he’s got a decent leap, and it would be a big plus when there’s going to be so many changes to be able to recruit a guy who knows what the club and the league is all about.
Sviatchenko wouldn’t cost the earth and he’s certainly strengthen an area of the team that needs bolstering.© SNS Group Erik Sviatchenko in action for Midtjylland
There is so much for Postecoglou to be getting on with it’s hard to know where to start.
It would be a tremendous boost if somehow Odsonne Edouard decides to stay. I still think there’s next to no chance of that happening, but with talk of Leicester City backing off it might open the door.
Edouard has a year left on his contract so it would make sense to cash in now.
But if Postecoglou could somehow convince him to hang around a bit longer – and maybe even sign a new deal – it would be a heck of a boost.
I wouldn’t bet on it though.
Striker is a big priority for Postecoglou and there’s still the Leigh Griffiths question to answer.
He’s posting videos on social media of his work outs over the summer and the fact he’s got the head down has to be a positive.
But his future will be decided on the training pitch, not on Instagram, and the new manager will need to be won over.© SNS Group Vakoun Issouf Bayo
The same goes for the likes of Albian Ajeti and Vakoun Bayo, who will be back from his loan spell.
The same goes for the boss when it comes to the Celtic support.
Postecoglou hasn’t faced the media in this country yet and he’s not came face to face with his squad.
No matter how it’s painted, it’s not ideal having players check back in this week and the new man in charge now being around.
They will need to know if they are part of the plans, how he wants them to play, the demands he’ll set in training. The quicker they get the answers the better.
But Postecoglou deserves time – even if it’s in short supply. The European games are up first and he’s got Rangers in the Premiership before the end of August.
Postecoglou might be happy where the club is right now but he could be in for a rocky ride for a few months.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sports/football/ange-postecoglou-and-celtic-need-a-champions-league-miracle-to-reach-the-group-stage-chris-sutton/ar-AALcHMB1212