Ange Postecoglou’s bid to revive Celtic’s fortunes has been aided by the signings of former England international goalkeeper Joe Hart and Irish midfielder James McCarthy.
In a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the Hoops’ Europa League first-leg third-round qualifier on Friday morning against Jablonec in the Czech Republic, Hart, 34, has joined the Scottish giants from Tottenham on a three-year deal, while McCarthy, 30, has signed a four-year contract in moving from Crystal Palace.
“I’m delighted that we have signed two top-class players in Joe and James,” former Socceroos boss Postecoglou said.
“Both of them have a wealth of experience at both club and international level, and that is something which can only benefit the squad, and I’m looking forward to working with both of them.
“I know our supporters will be well aware of both players, and I’m sure they’ll welcome them to the club and look forward to seeing both of them play for Celtic in the seasons ahead.”
👀 It’s a go for Joe! 👍
Look who’s joining the travelling party, Celts! 🧤
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 3, 2021
Hart, who won two English Premier League titles with Manchester City and was capped 75 times for England between 2008 and 2017, said: “This is a great moment for me in my career and I am absolutely delighted to be joining a club of Celtic’s stature.”
McCarthy, who despite representing Ireland was born in Glasgow, said: “To have signed for Celtic is a brilliant feeling and this is a special day for me and my family.”
Postecoglou told Celtic TV a “strong performance” on Friday was essential after a disappointing start to the season, including UEFA Champions League elimination and a 2-1 weekend Scottish Premier League loss to newly promoted Hearts.
“We’re looking to bounce back but, more importantly, we want keep improving our football,” he said.
“If we keep playing and improving our football, then the results will naturally follow, but I guess for the players’ confidence, there’s a good opportunity on (Friday) for us to do that.
“It’s important to have that belief that the process will get you the results rather than getting too anxious about it.
“European football away from home is always difficult when you’re going into a different country with different conditions, and from our perspective it’s about adjusting to that very quickly.
“We know what we need to do. We need to go away from home, put in a strong performance and get a result to take back to Celtic Park.”