Reo Hatate: Celtic midfielder ‘a cut above the rest’, says Mark Wilson | football news

Former Celtic midfielder Mark Wilson believes the League Cup final was won in midfield with Reo Hatate “head and shoulders above the rest”.

Ange Postcoglou’s side retained the trophy when Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice to seal a 2-1 win over Rangers.

Hatate produced a commanding display in midfield and set up Kyogo for his second goal at Hampden Park as the Hoops ended Michael Beale’s unbeaten start as Rangers manager.

Wilson, who lifted the League Cup with Celtic in 2009, singled out the Japan international as the key to his victory.

“It was unbelievable,” he said of the 25-year-old who has scored five league goals this season.


“You see his movement and the running without the ball that he does, but his quality on the ball was what set him apart.

“I thought he was way above the rest and had a part in both goals.

“I think Hatate has been the star for them this year in every competition and when you do it in a final it obviously stands out a bit more.


“I was surprised when Ange Postecoglou decided to take him out when he did because Rangers were coming into the game at the time, he was a bit on a knife edge.

“It just shows the faith that Ange has in her substitutions and her new signings, that she’s brought to this country, that she’s prepared to put them in when the game is on a knife edge.”

Hatate assisted Celtic's second goal at Hampden
Hatate assisted Celtic’s second goal at Hampden

Sunday’s victory means Postecoglou has now won three honors since taking charge of Celtic in June 2021.

Celtic hold a nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership and remain on course for a domestic treble with a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with Hearts next month.

Wilson believes the Australian deserves credit for the way he handles the pressure of managing the team.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou (L) celebrates with John Kennedy as his team advance 2-0 during the Viaplay Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on February 26, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Ange Postecoglou has won four trophies as Celtic manager

“I grew up in the city and I grew up a Celtic fan, so I knew exactly what it meant to support the club,” he added.

“You never really hear from Postecoglou about that side and the pressure that falls on his shoulders, and he’s great, but he’s managed to deal with it quite well.”

“I think you could see how relieved he was, especially when the second goal came in, and at the final whistle you could see the weight lifting.

“He deserved a good night because he puts a lot of work on this side, he does a lot of press conferences where he has to answer a lot of questions.”

McGregor: We’re lucky to have Kyogo.

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Celtic captain Callum McGregor insists they are “lucky” to have Kyogo Furuhashi after his brace secured a League Cup final win over Rangers.

Callum McGregor described Kyogo Furuhashi as a “superstar” after another Viaplay Cup final brace from the Celtic striker returned the trophy to Parkhead.

“He’s a superstar. I can’t speak highly enough about him.

“In our system, the striker has to be very disciplined and be between the posts and again today he is there with two great shots, finishing off the team’s plays.

“It takes a lot of discipline to play in that position and there are two finals in a row that have scored the two goals that have won them.

“So, a true superstar and we’re lucky to have him.”

“In the first half I thought we were really good, really dominant in the game and probably unlucky to come in (only) one up.

“But good from us on a spectacular occasion, we stuck to our football and really caused them problems. I don’t think they got the ball back once in transition, so really good from us.”

Confirmed Scottish Premiership matches live on Sky Sports

Sunday March 5: St Mirren vs Celtic, start 12:00 pm

Saturday March 18: Motherwell vs Rangers, kick off 12:30pm

Sunday April 2: Ross County vs Celtic, kick off 12pm

Saturday April 8: Celtic vs Rangers, start 12:30 pm

Sunday April 9: Dundee United vs Hibernian, kick off 12:00pm

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Sky Sports will broadcast the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Women's Premier League
Sky Sports will broadcast the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Women’s Premier League

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