Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou in Ryan McGowan and Paddy Kisnorbo Hearts quip as new signing set for Tynecastle bow

Hearts won’t be a surprise to new Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 6:49 pm
Ange Postecoglou brings his Celtic side to Tynecastle Park on Saturday night. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Greek-born Australian takes charge of his first domestic game on Saturday night when the Parkhead side visit Tynecastle Park in their cinch Premiership.

Despite never having managed in the UK, Postecoglou revealed he knows Hearts well, noting the club have a strong “Aussie connection”.

"I’m still on the same planet, mate,” he told a reporter when asked how much he knew about the Edinburgh club. “I haven’t come from outer space.

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"You’ll be surprised how much I know about Hearts, it’s got a strong Aussie connection. Ryan McGowan, Paddy Kisnorbo I can go back that far. I know Hearts very, very well.

"They are a big club. They obviously dropped down but have come up. It is always a good contest. We are preparing for it the same way.

He added: “You can ask me that question every week because it will be my first time doing it against every opposition.

"We are well prepared. Not just me but the staff are well prepared. The analysis staff have followed them through the pre-season so the players will have all the information they need.”

Celtic will be without former Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths for the trip to Tynecastle but welcome back Nir Bitton following his suspension in Europe.

In addition, new signing Carl Starfelt is set to start, while Postecoglou could possibly hand a surprise debut to Japanese international Kyogo Furuhashi who has been doing his quarantine in London.

Nir Bitton returns from a European suspension but Leigh Griffiths will remain out for the Tynecastle clash.

Postecoglou said: "Even to get Nir Bitton back also helps because when you are starting off in these challenging circumstances, you rely on the experienced ones to be able to cope with whatever pressures are around.

"I think it gives the whole squad a lift to see Carl here and I am looking forward to seeing him in action.

"Leigh is probably still two to three days of rehab away. The scan shows he has a little bit of an issue with his calf."

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