Joe Hart and table-topping Celtic still striving for that perfect performance
Celtic will keep aiming for the perfect game where they are in total control throughout, goalkeeper Joe Hart has stated.
Ange Postecoglou’s side go into the weekend nine points clear in the cinch Premiership having only lost one league game in 16 months.
But they are still striving for better as they continue to master the former Australia head coach’s relentless front-foot style of play.
“He never put too much pressure on us to be perfect at it from the off,” said Hart, whose team take on St Johnstone in Perth on Sunday.
“He made it very clear that he had a clear idea for us and, as quickly as he wanted us to grasp it, it wasn’t going to be that easy.
“With the way he works and his mentality of always wanting more, it’s constantly going to be evolving.
“We are never going to have cracked it, he is never going to have cracked it, but we are going to keep doing our best to get that game where we are in total control for 95-96 minutes.
“That’s what we want. It’s very, very difficult, if not impossible, but why not aim for it?”
When he joined Celtic in the summer of 2021, Hart found himself quickly being challenged by Postecoglou’s demands for him to get involved on the ball and play short passes to his team-mates.
The 35-year-old former Manchester City player said: “I have absolutely loved it. I have never been given an opportunity to be part of that.
“I am pretty lucky, I love football as it is, but especially to get to the age and the years of football I have played in a position where, growing up, all I thought about was saving the ball, that’s all I worked on.
“I have always been able to kick the ball pretty well, to find my spot, to kick long distance, short passes, but in terms of a system, I have never really played in it.
“I have loved it. I am learning every day, I am working every day.
“There’s a lot more references now in terms of how other teams play on the TV. So you can pick the brains of (goalkeeping coach) Stevie Woods and obviously the manager’s system.
“It’s exciting, it really excites me to play that way, and in terms of not being that busy save-wise, I feel I am constantly linked with the team and I really enjoy that role.”
Hart and his defence have shown signs they are further improving in their roles by keeping six consecutive clean sheets.
“It’s a great feeling as a goalkeeper, there’s no denying it,” the 75-times capped former England international said. “It’s a nice feeling to have a zero against your name because that’s almost the maximum you can do as a goalkeeper, when you have a clean sheet.”