‘We hold high standards’ - Anthony Ralston rejects Celtic ‘friendly’ notion as full-back expresses Sydney disappointment

Max Burgess of Sydney shoots for goal during the Sydney Super Cup match against CelticMax Burgess of Sydney shoots for goal during the Sydney Super Cup match against Celtic
Max Burgess of Sydney shoots for goal during the Sydney Super Cup match against Celtic | Getty Images
The Scottish champions were on the receiving end of a rare defeat at the Allianz Stadium this morning.

Anthony Ralston believes he and his Celtic team mates only have themselves to blame after starting the Sydney Super Cup tournament with a 2-1 defeat at the Allianz Stadium.

The Hoops conceded twice against mid-table A-League outfit Sydney FC with goals from Robert Mak and Max Burgess cancelling out Kyogo Furuhashi’s deflected opener in an entertaining encounter.

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Manager Ange Postecoglou evaluated several of his fringe players during the friendly match, with Oliver Abildgaard, Yosuke Ideguchi and Stephen Welsh handed a rare start. It was a useful rotational exercise for the Australian in his homeland as he made wholesale changes at half-time.

Celtic’s Anthony Ralston and Sydney FC’s Adrian Vlastelica (R) fight for the ball Celtic’s Anthony Ralston and Sydney FC’s Adrian Vlastelica (R) fight for the ball
Celtic’s Anthony Ralston and Sydney FC’s Adrian Vlastelica (R) fight for the ball | AFP via Getty Images

Defender Ralston claims Celtic aim to treat every match as if it was a league game, no matter of the opposition as he shared his manager’s disappointment over the loss.

Speaking to CelticTV, the right-back said: “Disappointed first and foremost. It doesn’t matter what competition you play in, whether it’s a friendly or a cup final, you don’t want to lose. Our intention was to come here treat it like a league game and if we lost a league game we’d be disappointed.

“The only positive you can really take is it was good to get 90 minutes in and that’s about it. As a collective we weren’t on it and there’s no excuse for that. We let them play through the middle too easy and didn’t take our chances. We’ll analyse it ourselves and see where we went wrong.

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“We hold high standards here. Our intent was to come and put on a show for the fans that live here so it’s disappointing from that aspect. It was nice to see the turnout from the fans who rarely get to see us play. So that was another positive to take from the night.

Celtic fans cheer their players after their loss to Sydney FCCeltic fans cheer their players after their loss to Sydney FC
Celtic fans cheer their players after their loss to Sydney FC | Getty Images

“You see how strong our fanbase is around the world, it’s special. The fans support us wherever we are and pay to watch us. We carry a responsibility playing for this club, so it’s important we keep giving something back to them.”

Joe Hart, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Mortiz Jenz were absent from the matchday squad, while Stephen Welsh suffered a nasty head knock late on and was supervised by the club’s medical staff on the pitch. Postecoglou provided an update on the quartet’s wellbeing.

He admitted: “He (Welsh) is getting stitched up just now, You could see it (was painful) in the moment, but it was more about getting the stitches in. Joe was a bit sore after the last game. Giako had a bit of an infected toe so he missed training. Both hopefully will train and be available for Sunday.

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“We are going through concussion protocols with Mortiz. He’s passed all the test, but we will need to see by Sunday. He is training individually at the moment. We are looking at a couple of things, but hopefully if he gets through everything properly he could be training on Saturday.”

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