Everything Ange Postecoglou had to say in his pre-match press conference ahead of Celtic's trip to Dingwall to face Ross County...

Can we have a squad update, how is everyone shaping up?

After last week, Reo has been in rehab all week. He picked up a few knocks, including a muscle strain. He had a bit of a run today, but he will miss tomorrow. Everyone else is okay.

Is Carl Starfelt back in your squad yet?

He is training, but obviously, we need to pick our moment to throw him back in there as he has not played any competitive football yet. It has been his first full week of training, so we still need to make a decision whether to play him tomorrow or bring him back next week.

A quick question on James McCarthy, there were reports earlier in the week that there were a few teams down south interested in him. Would a move away in this window be a possibility?

It is not on my radar, mate. I am just dealing with what is in front me. Macca (McCarthy) is still training with the squad, and beyond that, there is nothing on my radar.

After last week you spoke about wanting the players to be more clinical. Does that just show the high expectations that will continue through the rest of this season? You got the win, but you always want that little bit more?

It depends on the sort of performance. I said after that match that it was a comfortable game for us. I just felt we could have been more dominant in certain parts of it, particularly just before half-time. I think in the second half, the players addressed that, and it was a better performance. My role is to make sure I give feedback that is constructive and helps us move forward.

Ross County made it difficult up in Dingwall last season, particularly the game in December with that last-minute goal. What do you expect from Ross County this season?

It will be a good challenge. We went up there a couple of times last year, and it was always a tough game. That is the thing with Malkay Mackay's teams. He sets them up to be aggressive, and you know it will always be competitive, whether that is at home or away. Last week I thought they fought well and were good value for getting a couple of goals. It did not end up that way, but they look like they have picked up where they left off last season despite some changes. From our perspective, though, nothing changes. We just have to play our game and our best football.

Ross County have had a lot of changes to their personal, going in and out, and they have had a good start to the season in the League Cup. They also played well against Hearts last weekend despite losing. I am just wondering if you have noticed anything different in their style or from the new players that have come in?

I do not think there will be that much of a difference. As I say, the intent is there, and it is pretty evident from last year what Malkay is trying to do with his team. They had a tough start to the season like us last year but then kicked on after the break. From what I saw in their recent games they have set up similar and will have a similar type of aggression. 

Liel Abada was quoted this week talking about missing his 'big brother' Nir Biton from being around the squad. I was just wondering if, as a manager, you need to look out for younger players when senior players who have helped them settle in move on?

I get that to a certain extent, but I think Liel is just being honest about his feelings. I do not think Liel needs any protection from anyone. He does not need a big brother. He can take care of himself. He was wearing his big boy pants last year when he was thrown in and banging in goals and providing assists. He was obviously very close with Niro, who was fantastic with him, particularly in terms of helping him settle in. Liel knows what he wants to achieve in this game. We try and create a club environment of support for all our players, whether they are foreign or from just down the road. We have a supportive network for all of them and can provide any help they need.

I was just wondering how you are finding it playing one match every seven days? Is it harder to build momentum, or do you prefer that as a coach, with more time on the training field and more time to recover?

It is not easy or difficult. It is just different. You take a different approach. From our perspective, it just means an adjustment in how we train. Training has been really good this week and really competitive. We are stronger from a squad point of view this year, and now that the games have started, everyone wants to play. Everything we do is at a high tempo and ultra-competitive. We can then use this period to prepare for the next few weeks because once the games start, we won't have a lot of time for training, so we will use this time to get the players ready for that.  

With Reo Hatate being injured, could we see David Turnbull come in? Also, he spoke about wanting to score ten league goals this season. Is that a good target for him, or would you want him to aim for more?

You asked him those questions, didn't you? I don't know why I have to answer for him. I have no thoughts on that. He has had a good, strong pre-season, and he has made an impact, whether it is starting games or coming off the bench. I thought last week when he came on; he was fantastic for us. I am expecting a big year from him. We are getting pretty strong in that midfield area which we need to be because that takes more of a physical toll. Part of the issue with David last year is we overburdened him in the first half of the year, and he paid the price with an injury. Hopefully, we do not need to do that this season.

Are you still looking to add to your squad?

Yeah, while the window is open, we are active, but nothing definite at the moment. We are expecting that if the opportunity arises, we can move for a player if need be. We just need to stay alert and active between now and the end of the window.

In terms of the game at the weekend, I guess one of the great extremes is playing in front of 60,000 people at Celtic Park one week to then playing at Ross County's stadium. Is that all about the adaptability and professionalism of your team?

Every game has its own challenges, and I would hate to dismiss the difficulty of this fixture because of the venue. I think it is a difficult fixture because of the opposition you face as well. Ross County are a good side that make it hard for the opposition. I can tell you when Anthony Ralston snuck one in at the last minute, it felt like Celtic Park. The atmosphere is still pretty decent.

During the game at the weekend, we saw a triple sub with Kyogo, Maeda and Hatate coming off to be replaced by Giakoumakis, Abada and Turnbull. This is quite a contrast from last season when you could not look to the bench. How important will that be as the season goes on to be able to bring on so much quality?

Our aim in terms of recruitment and our business in the transfer market was to make the squad stronger. It was about how we can make it that on a week-to-week basis, we are not overburdening individual players but also, in the course of a game, we can change the flow of how a game is going. That could be whether we are ahead in a game or chasing a game. We just want to maintain the tempo, and it is no secret we want to play at a high intensity. A good way to do that is to make sure the players you are putting on are able to maintain that. We do not want the tempo to drop, and it is something we look at a lot.

I interviewed your former teammate Danny Crainey last night, and he was speaking about you playing left back. I was just wondering, Greg Taylor had a great performance at the weekend, does the fact you played that position allow you to help Greg a bit more?

Danny Crainey, what a player. Had a great left foot and used to moan a lot. In terms of me as a fullback, I was not inverted I was a frustrated left-back who used to just take off down the wing and leave my defensive duties. We try with the full-back positions; they are obviously quite unique in terms of how we play compared to other models. It just is making sure we provide all the players who play in those areas clarity on the advice we give them, and I think all the full-backs at the club, even Bernabei, who has just come in, they have adapted to it very quickly. I think that is because we are very clear for the reason we want them to play that way. I was nowhere near the levels of our current full-backs. I'll leave it at that.

You mentioned you have a decision to make when Carl Starfelt comes back. Obviously, Stephen Welsh is in that position right now, is the shirt his to lose?

I don't look at it that way. I know people like to. I understand this notion of the first 11 and starting 11s. All along, my thinking has been that I select the team for a game, and that is it. I select the team I think has the best chance of overpowering the opposition, and then I also think about players that can change that outcome as well. The shirt is there for all of them whether they are starting or not. It has happened to me a few times in my career that a team has started, and then we get an injury in the first minute. The guy who comes on and plays 90 minutes of football, does that then mean he's not starter when he is not on the pitch at the beginning of the game? Obviously not.

There were reports last week that the club rejected an approach for Stephen. Is it up to him to go out and prove to the club that you were right to keep him?

I would hate to think that is what is needed to motivate any player. I think the only motivation any player should need is to consistently be the best they can be. All these other things just take care of themselves. If you need all these other types of motivation other than being the best footballer you can be at this football club on a daily basis, then I don't think you will achieve what you want to. You cannot pick your motivations. You just need to want to do well, and that is it. All these other things you might want to explore in your career can come at a later date. I just want to make sure the players have the right attitude, are training well and have good performances.

This week the Celtic family lost another club legend in John Hughes, the Lisbon Lion. Did you ever have a chance to meet him and what were your thoughts on his contribution to Celtic over the years?

I don't think I ever had the chance to meet John but, yeah, enormous legacy. One of the icons of this football club, one of the legends. And what a player. You revisit this stuff and look at the vision of him - for such a big guy, what a player. You talk about size and strength but also the ability to score goals... and he loved this football club. One of our greats. I've often said, for all of us, that you represent this club and you want to achieve things and you want to be successful but ultimately for all of us we just want to be remembered for our time and he's right up there. He's one of the ones who will always be remembered. A fantastic legacy for himself but also his family and those who were closest to him. One of our greats and will be sadly missed.


What are your thoughts on Fran Alonso as a coach and how important is it for Celtic to develop the women's team?

Yeah, they're part of our football club and I think everyone's realising there isn't any need for separation there. They're part of our family and Fran did an unbelievable job last year. He's got so much enthusiasm, so much passion. Every time you talk to him you just know that he's so driven to create the best possible programme and environment for the girls to be successful. It's a credit to him and everyone involved - and the girls themselves for what they achieved last year. There's no doubt women's football is growing and it's not just the popularity but the opportunity that young girls have to play this wonderful game. That's the role of the game now to make sure those opportunities continue to grow and it gives every little girl - just like every little boy - who dreams of one day wearing the hoops that opportunity.