Postecoglou praises dominant Celtic after 1-0 win over Aberdeen to move nine points clear

Postecoglou praises dominant Celtic after 1-0 win over Aberdeen to move nine points clear

CELTIC manager Ange Postecoglou praised his players following their 1-0 win over third-placed Aberdeen, which restored their nine-point lead at the top of the table.

While the scoreline may suggest it was a tight affair it was anything but, with Celtic having 81 per cent of possession.

They also managed 33 efforts on goal, with 10 on target, while the Dons managed just two efforts that both failed to test Celtic keeper Joe Hart.

The visitors may only have netted once despite their dominance but it proved decisive, with captain Callum McGregor's 87th-minute strike securing the three points.

'Ambitious players'

After the game, Postecoglou praised his side's discipline and mentality as they once again had to bide their time for an opening.

"I thought we were in total control of the game," the manager told Celtic TV.

"I thought we dominated them from start to finish.

Callum McGregor and his Celtic team mates celebrate with the visiting fans after his 87th-minute winner (Image: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

"Obviously, we haven't scored so that keeps them in the game but through that process the boys really had the right mentality.

"We were really disciplined in our approach and didn't get frustrated because it would have been easy to get frustrated and I thought we got the rewards we deserved.

"I've got an ambitious group of players and I know they want more and that's what I'm going to keep feeding into.

"This football club demands that of you and you either can shy away from that or embrace it and I think this group of players, from the first day I walked in last year, have embraced that.

"That's who we want to be as a team.

"It also goes about our football that we want to play a certain way and through that process we haven't wavered."

Celtic never stop

Celtic went close through Jota, Reo Hatate, Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada and Greg Taylor before captain McGregor, returning from injury, netted the winner — the 200th competitive goal of Postecoglou's reign.

The resilience shown at Pittodrie has been a mark of Postecoglou's side this season.

In November, they were drawing 2-2 with Dundee United heading into injury time only for late goals from Furuhashi and Abada to seal the win.

Liel Abada was one of several players to go close to opening the scoring before McGregor’s winner (Image: Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

A month earlier, Giorgos Giakoumakis' 95th-minute strike earned Celtic a 2-1 win at St Johnstone.

Also in October, the Hoops won 4-3 against Hearts at Tynecastle having twice relinquished their lead, left-back Taylor securing the points with a 76th-minute strike.

Celtic now have back-to-back home games, starting with the visit of Livingston on Wednesday before St Johnstone travel to Celtic Park on Christmas Eve.