Ange Postecoglou takes the blame for Celtic’s failure to beat Midtjylland in Champions League

Ange Postecoglou took full responsibility for Celtic’s failure to make a kite against Midtjylland in the Champions League.

Hampered by a lack of new faces, the Australian was denied a winning start after Evander’s free kick in the second half overturned Liel Abada’s opener.

Nir Bitton undermined Celtic’s chances of winning in the first leg by being sent off a goal just before half-time and seemingly in the ascendancy.

Ange Postecoglou took responsibility for Celtic’s failure to beat Midtjylland in Champions League

The Scottish side have it all to do in the second leg after conceding an away goal

The Scottish side have it all to do in the second leg after conceding an away goal

The fingers were also pointed at Vasilis Barkas after the Greek keeper failed to deal with Evander’s attack from a sharp angle in the 66th minute.

Determined to take the blame for a disappointing but not disastrous result, Postecoglou said: “I am confident that I will go there tonight and put in a good performance. I can ask nothing more from the players.

“Sometimes the result belies the facts before you.

“In eight days we will no doubt be better prepared.

“Actually, I don’t think we’ll ever be as ill-prepared as tonight and it’s up to me to go into such an important game.

Liel Abada gave Celtic the lead in the 39th minute before they were reduced to 10 men

Liel Abada gave Celtic the lead in the 39th minute before they were reduced to 10 men

‘We still have eight days. I am confident that with the preparation and spirit we have, we will put in a good performance. It’s mine.’

Abada was the only new signing to start last night, but Postecoglou didn’t see the lack of fresh faces as a disadvantage.

“I don’t think I am at a disadvantage, my role is to try to support these players and prepare them as best as possible for what lies ahead,” he emphasized.

“To be honest I haven’t done a great job so far because with the interruptions we’ve had we haven’t been able to bring in the players.

“My role is to try to strengthen this squad and prepare this squad for what is to come, and to their credit the players have made no excuses tonight.

“They’ve provided a solid service and I’m just disappointed they didn’t get the rewards for what I thought was an outstanding performance.”

Already on a yellow card for a previous foul, Bitton aggressively protested Anders Dreyer late in the first half after the former St Mirren player apparently ducked to try to win a penalty.

Issued with a second yellow and a red by Swiss referee Sandro Scharer, Bitton’s offense saw goalscorer Abada sacrificed with teenager Dane Murray thrown in for his competitive debut.

Although Dreyer himself would be sent off 11 minutes after the break, Midtjylland secured the draw via Evander to equalize the Danes in the second qualifying round.

Nir Bitton was sent off after colliding with Anders Dreyer while he was already yellow carded

Nir Bitton was sent off after colliding with Anders Dreyer while he was already yellow carded

When asked if he was frustrated with Bitton, Postecoglou replied: “I was frustrated with the result, as I said, not with the gig, but Nir was already booked and if you are booked you have to be careful in your actions.

“If you commit another foul, you give the referee a chance to give you another warning.

“It’s especially disappointing for him because he really wanted to put in a strong performance.

“He had started the game very well for us, so it’s disappointing for him that he also misses the second game.”

Barkas looked wrong to the Danes’ equalizer, but his manager refused to pick him out.

“I’m getting a lot of half-empty questions right now,” he said. “I think tonight there were a lot of positives instead of people looking for little things that might not go well.

“I thought it was a decent attack, we limited them to a few shots on target with a really brand new back-four.

Postecoglou insisted his side would be better prepared for the second leg in eight days

Postecoglou insisted his side would be better prepared for the second leg in eight days

‘The midfield worked itself out. The amount of running Soro and Cal and Ryan Christie did was unbelievable.

“There’s nothing I’m disappointed with tonight. I’m frustrated with the result because the players didn’t get the result I thought they deserved.

‘I am the manager of the football club. I’m the one who takes the responsibility to support the players and staff.

“If things don’t happen, it’s up to me to make them happen.”

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