Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou admits he’s relishing a “good quality football game” against arch rivals Rangers on Saturday night following the Hoops’ 9-0 demolition of an embarrassing Dundee United.
Postecoglou’s men thrashed the Tangerines at Tannadice to maintain their perfect start to their Scottish Premiership title defence. It was Celtic’s biggest away win in the league in their 134-year history, just two goals shy of their biggest ever victory of 11-0 in 1895 against United’s city rivals Dundee.
“It’s the team we want to be – it’s not just about the football we want to play,” Postecoglou said after Sunday’s masterclass.
“It’s about the intent and we don’t want to be led by the scoreboard or whatever the circumstances of the game are. With respect to whether it’s the first or the last minute, or whether we’re winning or not, we want to play at a certain tempo and intensity.”
The win moved Celtic two points clear on the ladder with 15 points from five matches and has scored 21 goals and conceded just one.
Rangers are two points behind in second place, having chalked up four wins and a draw from their five matches.
“It’ll be a good game (against Rangers),” former Socceroos manager Postecoglou told BBC Sportsound ahead of the Old Firm derby at Parkhead.
“They’re going really well. They’re a good side, so it will be a good quality football game – we’re looking forward to it.”
Before meeting Rangers, the Hoops begin the defence of their Scottish League Cup crown on Thursday morning (AEST) against Ross County at Global Energy Stadium.
With a hectic upcoming schedule, including next week’s UEFA Champions League Group F clash against Spanish giants Real Madrid, Postecoglou could make a host of changes to his starting team for this week’s second-round Cup clash.
It could mean a start for Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy, who has had to be content with time off the bench since joining the Hoops last month.
“Ross County will be a tough opponent in the cup, so we’ll have to be ready for it,” Postecoglou told Celtic TV.
“The pleasing thing is that we had contributions again from the bench (against Dundee United), which is important.
“We’re going to have to rotate the squad during this period, so it’s good to know that the majority of them are in good condition and ready to go.”
Mooy came on for the final half-hour of Celtic’s rout of Dundee United.
The win was highlighted by hat-tricks from Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi and Israeli attacker Liel Abada, while Portuguese star Jota, Croatian fullback Josip Juranovic and Swedish defender Carl Starfelt also found the back of the net.
“We knew that Dundee United are going through a bit of a rough patch and it was important for us to impose ourselves on the game from the beginning,” Postecoglou said.
‘The players did that, they worked hard and we got some quality goals at the end of it.
“It’s not about joy because, at the same time, you respect that you’ve got an opposition manager (Jack Ross) who’s going through a tough time, and I think in this game you’ve got to stay humble and respectful.”
Neither of Dundee United’s two Australian players – goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and left back Aziz Behich – were used in the match.