Ange Postecoglou recalled the night when the Global Energy Stadium “felt like Celtic Park” as he prepares for the trip to play Ross County on Saturday.
The Hoops manager’s first away game against the Staggies last December ended in drama when Anthony Ralston headed in the winner for the 10-man Hoops in the seventh minute of added time to keep Celtic within touching distance of then champions Rangers.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s backing his players to stand up to the challenge at Ross County
Postecoglou celebrated the last-gasp goal, which gave the visitors the 2-1 win, as enthusiastically as the ecstatic travelling support and Celtic eventually overtook their Old Firm rivals to bring the title back to Parkhead.
Postecoglou expects another tough test in Dingwall, despite the venue being in stark contrast to the sold-out Celtic Park which watched the Hoops get their title defence off to an encouraging start last week with a 2-0 win over Aberdeen.
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He said: “Every game and situation has its own challenge.
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“I’d hate to dismiss this as a difficult fixture just because of the venue, I think it is a difficult fixture because of the opposition you face as well.
“Obviously Ross County are a good side, they make it hard for the opposition whoever goes there.
“I can tell you that when Anthony Ralston stuck one in in the last minute it felt like Celtic Park in those moments.
Anthony Ralston struck late to earn Celtic the win in Dingwall last season
“The atmosphere is still pretty decent so, for us, we have just got to focus on playing our football, whatever challenge there is.
“What we showed last year, and so far this year, is that irrespective of what has been put before us, if we can play our football, stick to the task and be disciplined then we are hard to stop.”
Reo Hatate will miss the game after picking up a knock in Celtic's 2-0 win over Aberdeen
The former Australia boss recognised the significance of Ralston’s goal and the win in Dingwall, “in terms of the resilience I kept talking about during the year”.
He said: “We were on fumes at the time, we had quite a few players out, we were playing games without a lot of depth in numbers, it was a difficult place to go to, Ross County were playing aggressive football and we were down to 10 men. That’s where you build resilience.
“There was probably half-a-dozen excuses we could have used that day to not win that game, we chose an alternative path and I thought that held us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
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