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Postecoglou shields ex-Palace man from criticism

Ange Postecoglou has defended James McCarthy after some criticism following the midfielder’s first start in a Celtic shirt in the 1-0 defeat at Livingston on Sunday.

The 30-year-old arrived from Crystal Palace as a free agent last month.

McCarthy was taken off in the latter stages of the match as he struggled to make an impression away from home.

Ange hastily defended the Republic of Ireland international, pointing out he was not the only one who failed to make an impact against Livingston

“Fair or unfair, James is a big boy and I’m sure he’s had plenty of criticism in his career and it was his first game.

“He will be the first to admit he didn’t have a great one, but there were plenty of others alongside him who would also admit the same.

“I didn’t have a great day at the office, mate.”

The gaffer is also under criticism after Celtic’s third consecutive away loss in the league and the worst start to a campaign in over two decades.

Postecoglou, who is preparing for the Premier Sports League Cup quarter-final tie against Raith Rovers commented:

“We have a responsibility as a whole group to go out there and represent our club and our supporters and those kind of opinions can change pretty quickly.

“There’s no point feeling sorry for myself. That’s not the type of team we want to be or the type of person I am.

“A week or so ago, I said the challenge for us was building some resilience and having an understanding of what you can control, what you can’t control and to make sure we were strong through it.

“Because I know it will settle down. At some point we’ll get into a position where we will have all our players available and get some consistency in our team.

“They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so we’ll just keep moving on.

“I don’t feel like I’m walking around with a dark cloud over my head.

“I’m still very, very positive about what we are doing and I’ve no doubt we are heading in the right direction.

“It’s just about me making sure the players, and everyone involved in the football club, knows that once we’ve come through this period we’ll be a better club coming out of it.”

Written by Kerry Mayodi

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