Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou insists Ferencvaros showdown is a ‘must-win’ and vows NOT to change his attacking style

The Hoops have lost their opening two Group G games in the Europa League and are in desperate need of points

Ange Postecoglou knows anything less than three points against Ferencvaros in the Europa League this afternoon could all but end Celtic’s slim hopes of reaching the knockout phase.

The Hoops and the Hungarian champions both face an uphill battle to haul themselves back into contention in Group G, having lost their opening two matches against Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen.

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Postecoglou’s side conceded four goals in each contest and the Australian head coach reckons they must now win ALL of their remaining games to stand a chance of progressing.

Ferencvaros return to Parkhead 14 months on from crushing Celtic’s Champions League ambitions last season, but Postecoglou insists that shock 2-1 result will have no bearing on today’s outcome.

He stated: “We’re well aware of Ferencvaros. We’ve watched them closely over recent weeks and of course the recent history with the two sides meeting during qualification for the Champions League.

“We know it’ll be a good challenge for us, they’re a good team. They had a disappointing result in the league at the weekend, but their manager rested a few players.

“A lot has changed since we last played them. I’ve spoken to the staff and players that were involved in the game, but there was no crowd inside the stadium and both clubs have changed managers since then so it will be a totally different contest this time.

“It has been a really open, attacking group. All the games have had plenty of goals.

“Ferencvaros showed last year what they’re capable of and will come here knowing they probably need a result as well, so I’m expecting them to come at us.

“This is a game we’ve got to win if we want to keep our hopes alive. The other two sides in the group have won their opening games, so if we’re going to bridge that gap then we’ve got to win our remaining games, particularly our two home games. No shying away from that – we need a win.”

Postecoglou has vowed NOT to change his attacking approach, despite the alarming number of goals they have shipped in the competition so far – the highest of any club this season.

The Hoops boss insists there has been enough positive signs in both encounters against Betis and Leverkusen to stick by his philosophy and claims his squad are in a better place now.

He admitted: “I said before Saturday’s game we’re definitely better prepared. We’re more settled and had more time together as a group.

“I think the international break was good for us, not just for the fact all of our players came back healthy but the ones who stayed here we managed to do some good work with.

“In both European group games so far, we’ve shown in spells that we can make an impact and take the game to the opposition, but we’ve certainly paid for our mistakes.

“Our football in both games was good, even though we lost quite convincingly against Leverkusen, but anyone who watched that game will know we had our fair share of chances.

“It’s not a matter of changing things, it’s just part of the learning process and the evolution of the team.

“From my perspective, there was enough positive signs in both of those performances to continue what we are doing.

“Part of the challenge of playing quality teams is can you cause them problems? It’s easy to set out a team to stop the opposition but if you really want to make an impact in Europe you have got to be able to hurt opposition teams yourself and I thought we showed that in both games.”

Celtic head into this afternoon’s crucial showdown buoyed by back-to-back league victories on their travels after seeing off Aberdeen and Motherwell.

Postecoglou can sense there is more belief in the Hoops camp as a result and is adamant his side can cause Ferencvaros a lot of problems with their pace and creativity in the final third.

He added: “Right from the start, irrespective of our inconsistency and results, the mood has still been fairly positive the whole way through.

“There hasn’t been a time where I thought the players were lacking a bit of belief or determination to get to where we want to.

“So from that perspective there hasn’t been a major shift but there’s no doubt winning a couple of games will give the group some added confidence and belief.

“I think the prevailing thing for us at the moment is it just feels like we’re a more settled group.

“Everyone has got to know one another, the style of football and the way we train, so that’s the biggest shift I’ve noticed in the last two weeks.

“When Tom (Rogic) and David (Turnbull) are both feeling good and fresh, I feel they give us a good attacking threat without diminishing any sort of defensive solidity we made need.

“We’re creating a team that has multiple threats. Jota has slotted in really well, there is more to come from him, and I think he’ll improve a lot.

“Kyogo (Furuhashi) and Liel (Abada) have also been important players for us and the way we play helps these attacking players bring out the qualities they have.

“It’s not about one player being key, we have multiple goal threats.”

Today’s game will mark the introduction of the Coronavirus passport scheme with supporters attending the match urged to bring their proof of vaccination status with them as spot-checks will be carried out.