Ange Postecoglou has promised not to sacrifice his lip smacking attacking philosophy today - even though he knows it could burger up Celtic’s Europa League hopes.

And the Aussie drew an unusual analogy to underline his point by joking that a hungry vegetarian wouldn’t stoop to munching on a Big Mac out of convenience alone.

Postecoglou admits this afternoon’s showdown with Ferencvaros is effectively win or bust for his team in Group G, having taken zero points from two opening matches against Real Betis and Leverkusen.

And even though his all guns blazing approach has been blamed for the loss of eight goals in those two ties, Postecoglou is set to ignore calls for him to adopt a more pragmatic tactical strategy now that there is no more room for errors.

He said: “My view on that is, if you are a strict vegetarian, you don’t drop into Macca’s just because you are hungry mate, you know? This is what I believe in!


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“I don’t believe in it because I am trying to prove something, I just believe it is the way to truly create a special team.

“It’s not easy, for sure, and there are pitfalls along the way. You have to get the balance right. But I’ve had so much success doing it this way - I’m a believer in it - and it’s how I think we will become a special team and have success.

“You’ve got to be prepared - and I certainly am and have had it throughout my whole career - that people are going to question it if the success isn’t there.

“I understand that and I love the debate around it but it’s not going to change me mate and this is what I believe in. I don’t waver in it.

“I believe in it because I believe it will get us to where we want to get to. And by the way, I’m nowhere near being a vegetarian either - that was just an analogy on my part!”

And yet Postecoglou concedes a third successive defeat - against the Hungarian side which eliminated Celtic from last season’s Champions League qualifiers - will end their hops of making it into the knock-out rounds.

Celtic players dejected after Bayer Leverkusen score
Some blamed Postecoglou's style for the heavy Leverkusen defeat

He said: “There’s no doubt about it, we need a result tomorrow if we want to keep our hopes alive.

“The other two in the group have already won a couple of games, so we kind of understand that particularly at home here we need to get three points tomorrow.

“So, there’s no shying away from that and it’s a good challenge for us.

“The two European games so far have shown that we can play good football and have an impact against the best teams, but we also have seen that we’ll get punished for our mistakes and any lapses in concentration.

“That’s part of the process for this team to keep evolving, but I think there’s enough in those two games to encourage us to continue to try and be an aggressive team, particularly here at home, and take it to the opposition.

“That’s our challenge tomorrow, to try and perform as we have in the other two games from an attacking perspective, but also really be on it as a team for the whole 90 minutes, or else we’ll get punished against good quality.”

And he insists his side will not be haunted by flash-backs of last season’s humbling defeat - the result which did so much to undermine Neil Lennon’s ill-fated 10 in row campaign.

He said: “I’ve spoken to the staff here and the players who were involved last year, not that there’s many left.

“It is hard to draw a comparison because both clubs have changed managers, both clubs have changed personnel.

“The game was played behind closed doors last year, which was pretty weird, so I don’t think there’s too much you can take away for this encounter.

“What you do know is that they are a good team and they will be coming here to get a result. It’s not a side where you can say ‘OK, they’re not going to be a great challenge for us’.

“I guess they would have got great confidence from coming here last year and getting a result they needed in a big game, that’s the only sort of thing you can draw from it.`

“In terms of how the game will be played out, I think there is more recent relevant information from both clubs that is a better guide to that.”