If you’ve never seen the film Groundhog Day, it basically goes like this: Bill Murray plays a TV reporter who is forced to relive the same day over and over again on a loop. No matter what he tries, he wakes up every morning and it’s February 2, the same song (I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher) is playing on the radio and the same day is in front of him.

So it’s a wonder I Got You Babe wasn’t playing over the tannoy as Celtic Park emptied after Saturday’s 6-2 loss against West Ham United.

And it’s not Ange Postecoglou who’s in the Bill Murray role in this particular iteration of the film, it’s the fans. We’ve all lived this script before.

Every year the European qualifiers roll around, with the league hot on its heels, and every year the prevailing feeling when the friendlies are finished is that the team has been left looking understrength and inadequately backed for the resumption of competitive action.

And that’s what Saturday’s 6-2 defeat came down to.

That’s not on the manager, whose forthright, frustrated responses after the match will actually once again have endeared him to the support. It’s not on the players who, for all their defensive faults during the match, still at least tried to implement the gameplan expected of them. It’s certainly not on the fans, eighteen-and-a-half thousand of whom were lucky enough to be in the stadium again. It’s on the board, which hasn’t acted quickly enough ahead of the new season.

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Every club has been operating under various constraints throughout the pandemic. Every club. So for Celtic to be at the stage where the team is a week away from the start of the league season, having already played the first leg of a Champions League qualifier, with the starting XI filled out with youth players as only one new signing has been recruited in time to actually be able to play due to things like quarantine is poor planning at best.

And, no, Postecoglou didn't have to play 18-year-old Dane Murray against the rampaging Michail Antonio on Saturday. He could have left Murray out in case he got injured or, as proved to be the case in the end, he was given the runaround by an experienced Premier League striker. He could have played Nir Bitton, who is unavailable for the second leg against FC Midtjylland after getting sent off in the first.

Of course, the only person responsible for Nir Bitton’s unavailability on Wednesday is Nir Bitton. However, the fact the Israeli defensive midfielder is once again considered a first-choice centre-back for a crucial (and it is crucial) qualifier is why this all just feels like it’s February 2 again at Parkhead.

So the Celtic boss was left with a choice before the West Ham game: play Bitton and keep Murray for the Midtjylland trip despite his almost total lack of senior game-time, or start Murray alongside Stephen Welsh in the hopes getting them time together on the pitch pays off in the match that actually matters.

The risk for, hopefully, future reward in playing the team that will surely start against Midtjylland on Wednesday won out for Postecoglou. Any further injuries would have been viewed as costly given this was still ‘just’ a friendly but the Celtic manager obviously felt the opportunity for this set of players to get a decent amount of game-time as a unit trumped any safety-first thoughts.

It didn’t work out great against West Ham on the day but, even then, Postecoglou has challenged the players to turn it into a positive by making up for it in the second leg against the Danes on Wednesday, telling Premier Sports: “Part of the process is to stand up to things like this, when it hasn’t gone well, and react in a positive way. We can’t go hiding.”

There will certainly be no hiding place on Wednesday. Now it’s the manner of the performance in Denmark, maybe even more so than the outcome, that will show us if his call was correct.

But either way, it’s not because of Postecoglou we’re all hearing Sonny & Cher on the radio again.