Ange Postecoglou took full responsibility for Celtic’s failure to fly off against Midtjylland in the Champions League.
Embarrassed by the lack of new faces, the Australian was denied a winning start after Evander’s free kick in the second half called off Liel Abada’s opener.
Nir Bitton undermined Celtic’s chances of victory in the first leg by being sent off just before the break with a good goal and apparently in the ascendancy.
Ange Postecoglou took responsibility for Celtic’s failure to beat Midtjylland in the Champions League
The Scottish side have everything to do in the second leg after conceding an away goal
Vasilis Barkas was also singled out after the Greek goalkeeper failed to handle Evander’s strike from a sharp angle in the 66th minute.
Determined to take responsibility for a disappointing but not catastrophic result, Postecoglou said: “I am convinced tonight that it will go there and deliver a good performance. I can no longer ask the players.
“Sometimes the result belies the facts presented to you.
“We will probably be better prepared in eight days.
“In fact, I don’t think we’ll ever be as badly prepared as tonight and it’s up to me to get into such an important game.
Liel Abada gave Celtic the lead in the 39th minute before being reduced to 10 men
“We still have eight days. I am convinced that the preparation and the spirit that we have will allow us to achieve a good performance. It’s mine.
Abada was the only new signing to start last night, but Postecoglou didn’t see the lack of new faces as a drawback.
“I don’t think I’m at a disadvantage, my role is to try to support these players and try to prepare them as best I can for what lies ahead,” he said.
“I haven’t done a great job so far to be honest, because with the disruption we’ve had, we haven’t been able to bring in the players.
“My role is to try to strengthen this team and to try to prepare this team for what lies ahead, and to their credit the players have not looked for excuses tonight.
“They made a solid turn, and I’m just disappointed that they weren’t rewarded for what I thought was an outstanding performance. “
Already on a yellow card for an earlier foul, Bitton aggressively scolded Anders Dreyer late in the first half after the former St Mirren player apparently dived in to try and win a penalty.
Issued with a second yellow and a red by Swiss referee Sandro Scharer, Bitton’s transgression saw striker Abada sacrificed along with teenager Dane Murray on his competitive debut.
Although Dreyer himself was sent 11 minutes after the break, Midtjylland equalized the game thanks to Evander to put the Danes ahead in the second qualifying round.
Nir Bitton was sent off after facing Anders Dreyer when he was already on a yellow card
When asked if he was frustrated at Bitton, Postecoglou replied: “I was frustrated with the outcome, like I said, not with the performance, but Nir had already been booked and when you were reserved, you must be careful in your actions.
“When you break again, you give the referee an opportunity to give you another warning.
“It’s more disappointing for him than anything else, because he really wanted to put on a good performance.
“He started the game really well for us, so it’s disappointing for him that he also misses the second game. “
Barkas looked at the Danish equalizer at fault but his manager refused to distinguish him.
“I’m getting a lot of half empty glass questions right now,” he said. “I think there were a lot of positives tonight rather than people looking for little things that didn’t necessarily go well.
“I thought it was a decent strike, we limited them to a few shots on goal with a brand new back four.
Postecoglou insisted his side will be better prepared for the second leg in eight days
“The midfielder worked his socks. The number of runs that Soro, Cal and Ryan Christie did was incredible.
“There is nothing that disappoints me tonight. I’m frustrated with the result because the players didn’t get the result I thought they deserved.
“I am the manager of the football club. I am the one who takes this responsibility of supporting the players and the staff.
“If things don’t happen, it’s up to me to make them happen. “