Alonso: Celts must respect Forfar threat


By Colette Carr

Celtic respect the threat every opposition pose says manager Fran Alonso, as he looks ahead to the return of domestic football tomorrow, and the visit of Forfar Farmington.

Since arriving in Glasgow, Alonso has embedded his brand of football into the side, working hard to create a formidable opponent. But while stamping his identity into the squad, he has also proved himself a shrewd force at the tactical drawing board, as he admits understanding your opponent and allowing the flexibility for change is just as important as playing in his own “Celtic Way”.

“It’s up to the coaches - there are coaches that feel very strongly about their philosophy and they wouldn’t change it regardless of who they play, and I respect that.

“I like the team to play and work in a certain way, but we will always make adjustments because football is about playing well and winning games. We obviously have to try and exploit the opposition's weakness when we can and some teams defend one way and others another, so you can’t always attack in the same way. For me it’s very important to be adjustable, and we have shown this year that we can be very versatile - even in the same game - to try and maximise opportunities. 

“I think we have been quite good at that so we believe in our football and our model, but of course if we can exploit weaknesses or individuals, we will change our patterns or strategies slightly,” he explained. 

His chess-like style of thinking will also come into play on Sunday against Farmington, who head to South Lanarkshire following deceptive back-to-back defeats. Ryan McConville’s side came out on the wrong side of a dubious goal at Spartans, before running Rangers closely at Station Park where a last minute third for the visitors gave Rangers a little more breathing space in the 3-1 final score. 

And given Forfar’s tough defence to break down and their dangerous threat on the counter, Alonso re-addressed the need for Celtic to be on top of their game, a demand he asks of his players regardless of the opposition. 

“They have had a bad run of results but they were in the Rangers game until the last minute. I thought they were quite good and potentially didn’t deserve to lose against Spartans, but they've had very close games against good teams.

"We know they are a good team regardless of results. Past results can maybe affect morale a little, but it won’t have any influence on the game and we know we will have to do our very best to beat them," he told.

Celtic play Forfar Farmington on Sunday December 6 at K-Park in a 2pm kick-off.  Watch live on the BBC Sport Scotland website. 

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