Celtic and Rangers to meet in decider at Hampden Park

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has given the maligned Hampden Park playing surface his seal of approval ahead of the Hoops’ Scottish League Cup final date with arch rivals Rangers.

A win over Rangers on Monday morning would secure Celtic back-to-back League Cups and add a third piece of silverware since the arrival of Postecoglou in June 2021.

The former Socceroos mentor wasn’t happy with the state of the Hampden Park pitch last month for his side’s 2-0 semi-final win over Kilmarnock.

“It has improved, definitely. It had to,” he said after inspecting the playing surface on Tuesday night (AEDT).

“It looks in better condition. Hopefully the weather is kind to us this week and it gives a chance for both teams to play at a good level.

“It is not just about the fact that the pitch stops us from playing our football, the pitch is part of the event, the stadium is part of the event. In a cup final, the pitch is an essential factor in that event.

“Everyone will be watching, not just in Scotland, but around the globe and you want our football to be presented in the best possible light.”

Postecoglou promised not the let the emotion of the occasion get the better of him.

“I am still a human being. I am not happy when we don’t win and I am delighted when we do,” he said.

“That part of being a fan is allowing yourself to lose yourself in moments whether good or bad.

“If you want to shout abuse, you have to do that. If you want to be in delirium because you have won something, you are allowed to be that, but I don’t think that’s what they (the Celtic fans) expect from their manager.
“Our supporters don’t expect me to have the same emotions going into a big game like this.

“They want me to be clear-headed out there to make the right decisions and try to prepare the team in the best possible way.

“It has been my job for 26 years (as a coach). I like to think that after 26 years I know what I am doing.”

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