Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou says he's to blame for slump

‘I’m making five or six line-up changes every week and it’s hurting the team’: Ange Postecoglou takes the blame for Celtic’s slump after champions twice squander the lead in 4-2 defeat at Hibs

  • Hibernian twice came from behind to beat 10-man Celtic at Easter Road
  • The champions’ run in the Premiership now stands at one win in five games
  • Postecoglou says blame should rest with him for making number of changes

Ange Postecoglou has taken full responsibility for Celtic’s form slump ahead of the Scottish Cup Final.

Beaten 4-2 at Easter Road on Wednesday night, the champions’ run in the Premiership now stands at one win in five games.

But with just a home game with Aberdeen to come before the June 3 showdown with Inverness, Postecoglou says any blame should rest with him for the number of changes he’s recently been making.

‘We love to live in the moment and everyone is sort of making assessments on what is happening right now. That’s fine,’ he said.

‘Most of that is on me, to be honest. I am the one making five or six line-up changes every week. That’s hurting the side and there’s no doubt about that, but I’m doing it for a reason and that has affected our level of performance.

Ange Postecoglou has taken responsibility for Celtic’s slump ahead of the Scottish Cup Final

‘Although, like I said, until the sending off, I thought we were in a good position.

‘Aside from that, as I said, that’s my responsibility. I’ll take that. That’s the decisions I’ve made. In the last three weeks, they haven’t been to be benefit of the team.

‘But in terms of any far-reaching assessments or conclusions, as I said earlier in the week, it’s for other people to make.’

Leading 2-1 in Leith, Celtic lost three goals after the sending off of Daizen Maeda.

‘He’s a guy who just gives everything. I would never criticise him, the effort he puts in is just outstanding,’ said Postecoglou.

‘He doesn’t go down as easy as others. That’s a credit to him.’

In goal for the first time in 18 months, Scott Bain let Elie Youan’s shot evade him as Hibs went 3-2 up.

‘It is disappointing for him and that is the life of a goalkeeper as he was having a good game up until that point,’ said Postecoglou.

‘It is just one of those moments and I don’t know when the last time he played.’

Sead Haksabanovic is a doubt for the cup final after hobbling off.

Daizen Maeda’s red card after a second booking sparked a dramatic conclusion to the match

‘That’s the danger of throwing guys in I guess. It can happen,’ said Postecoglou.

‘I haven’t spoken to him and I’ll wait and see what the medical team say but with the cup final 10 days away it could be tough for him.

Postecoglou admits he can understand Hearts’ interest in John Kennedy but is adamant there’s been no approach for his right-hand man.

‘John plays a vital role,’ he said. ‘I give him a lot of responsibility. He’s got a lot of experience at this football club, part of a lot of success.

‘That isn’t by accident. It’s not surprising that people are looking at him. When the time is right he’ll make an outstanding manager.’

Hibs boss Lee Johnson was elated at a win that secures fifth place and could yet see his side finish fourth if they beat Hearts at the weekend.

‘It was a fantastic win and a big three points against a top team,’ he said.

‘The fans deserved that and it was nice to send them home happy.

‘We have now set ourselves up for a shootout against Hearts on Saturday.

‘We had chances in the first half and then executed the system fantastically in the second half.

Lee Johnson’s side twice came from behind to beat 10-man Celtic at Easter Road

Kevin Nisbet equalised from the spot before Bain’s fumble put Hibs ahead for the first time

‘That wasn’t a smash and grab win. We went toe to toe with the champions.

‘We have had some good performances but that was right up there, considering the quality of the opposition.

‘I am really proud of the players. They were fantastic.

‘I’ve banged on about getting points off the Old Firm and this club deserves to be competitive in these games.’

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