Ange Postecoglou is on Bodo/Glimt red alert as he admitted the Norwegians have been on his radar since they roasted Roma.
The Celtic boss has warned his men they will need to hit top gear in Thursday’s Europa Conference League clash at Parkhead as the Arctic Circle side are one of the hottest sides on the continent.
Postecoglou was blown again by Bodo’s sensational 6-1 mauling of Jose Mourinho’s Serie A stars in the groups stages before Christmas – and then followed it up with an equally impressive 2-2 draw in Rome.
The Celtic manager revealed he was swotting up on the Norwegian champs before they even came out of the hat for the Hoops and he’s ready for a double headed thriller when the clubs collide.
Postecoglou said: “People should realize what they did to Rome. They did it in Rome as well.
“They grabbed my attention back then – before we knew we were going to play them.
“They have an outstanding manager and they play an aggressive, expansive style of football.
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“It should be a cracking game.
“We are in a heavy schedule of games but at the same time, we are in a good moment.
“We’re in good shape, players are fit.
“Bodo are similar to us when we go in to our Champions League qualifiers as they are in pre-season mode at the minute.
“That could potentially work both ways. We have the match sharpness, but they could have a freshness about them.
“I’ve got no doubt they will both be cracking games because of the way they play – and we won’t change our approach.
“We are heading to the Arctic Circle so even the Scottish weather will go out of the window.
“That’s the beauty of European football. For me as a manager, that’s what gets the adrenaline pumping. Testing yourselves in different conditions against different teams and different types of set ups.”
Postecoglou admitted he’s relished his European rollercoaster ride this season – and he wants the adventure to continue.
His undercooked Celts suffered disappointment in the Champions League qualifiers but put up a fight in a brutal Europa League group that included heavy hitters Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis.
Postecoglou believes his side have kicked on again and they are determined to maintain the continental charge in to Bodo and beyond.
He said: “I loved playing in the Europa League against the caliber of opponents we had. It was a real challenge as a manager.
“Bayer Leverkusen are a Champions League side and we got tested.
“We started really well against them and had some great chances and I was really proud of the players. They should take encouragement from that because that’s a team you want to be in.
“There were four goals in the game but that’s only because we were punished for our mistakes.
“But we knew that we would learn a lot about ourselves and we got a bit of courage from that.
“We grew up in the group. We went down 3-2 in Germany but we really took them game to them in the lions’ den and I was proud of the players.
“We managed to beat Betis at home and that was important to us. Regardless of the stakes, winning is everything and it was important to do that against a top side.
“It was a great learning curve for the group, to say, this is how we want to play and we won’t compromise just because we are in Europe.
“We are still looking to improve today. Going in to the Conference League, we can test ourselves against some great clubs.
“Bodo/Glimt have been Norwegian champions these last two years and they play aggressive, expansive football.
“I can’t wait for it.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.