Celtic boss says 'outstanding' Abada will only get better following 4-0 derby win over Rangers

Celtic boss says 'outstanding' Abada will only get better following 4-0 derby win over Rangers

CELTIC manager Ange Postecoglou says winger Liel Abada will strive to be even better following his brace in Saturday's 4-0 win derby win over Rangers at Celtic Park.

The 20-year-old scored either side of a Jota goal to give Celtic a 3-0 lead at the break, before David Turnbull capitalised on a second-half error from keeper Jon McLaughlin to round off the scoring.

Abada started the season behind Daizen Maeda in the pecking order, with the Japanese star starting the opening four league games.

However, the Israel international, who came on to replace Maeda in each of those games, has started the last two league outings, in which time he has scored five and assisted one.

He is well on his way to bettering an impressive debut season in Scotland last term, which saw him score 15 goals and provide 11 assists in all competitions.

'Hit the ground running'

Despite Abada's man-of-the-match performance, Postecoglou said the 'outstanding' player will not rest on his laurels but will continue to work on his game.

"I could have gone with Daizen and been rewarded as well, that's the easy part of my job," said the manager.

"We've got some outstanding players who, depending on the day, can do a job for us.

"But Liel was great today, he's an outstanding young man.

"From the moment he arrived he hit the ground running and he hasn't stopped since.

"The fact he gets the amount of goals he does as a winger, for such a young player, is outstanding.

"What I do know is he'll come in tomorrow and get feedback and want to be better than he was today.”

Madrid test

The competition between Maeda and Abada is just one example of the strength in depth Postecoglou has created in his squad.

Despite losing talismanic forward Kyogo Furuhashi to a shoulder injury after just five minutes, Postecoglou was able to bring on last season's Scottish Premiership joint top scorer, Giorgios Giakoumakis.

Meanwhile, after Carl Starfelt suffered a knee injury early in the second half, Moritz Jenz partnered Cameron Carter-Vickers in the centre of defence as they shut out Rangers.

The squad strength will aid Celtic as they battle on four fronts this season, however Postecoglou will be hoping Starfelt and Kyogo will be fit for Tuesday's visit of Real Madrid.

The manager said he was looking forward to the Champions League clash against the 14-time winners and current European Champions.

"It's why you want to be at this football club," he said.

"You want to be part of these big occasions, big nights, and it's another great challenge for us.

"You want to measure and test yourself against the best and that’s what we're going to do."