After the 2-0 win over Hearts on Sunday which saw Celtic go clear at the top of the league, looking down on theRangers, Ange Postecoglou could allow himself some time to relish what’s coming his way in the draw for the Champions League which takes place this Thursday, 25 August.
Whether Celtic will be the only Scottish side in the draw remains to be seen but the advantage of winning the league last season is abundantly clear as the PS versus theRangers match determines which side gets the coveted place in Thursday’s draw, after the 2-2 draw at Ibrox last week in the first leg of their play-off tie.
There are no such stresses for Ange Postecoglou who this week will continue with his summer routine without midweek football – that ends next Wednesday when we are at Ross County in the League Cup – and the Celtic manager can also afford some time to concentrate on the closing stages of the transfer window as he eyes a few arrivals and tries to sort out a few exits, mostly on loan deals for fringe players unlikely to be given too much opportunities to play at Celtic this season.
But the highlight for the Celtic manager will be Thursday’s Champions League draw where he’ll find out who his side will be up against and where he’ll fulfil a personal ambition to manage a team in the Champions League, becoming of course the first Australian coach to do so.
“It’s fair to say they’ll be decent sides, but it’s exciting. I know come Thursday our supporters will glued to the TV in anticipation.
“It’s where we should be. It’s where this football club needs to be. I have a responsibility to make sure we’re there and we are there to make an impact,” the Celtic manager said, as reported by Daily Record.
“No doubt there are going to be some exciting ties and memorable occasions for everyone involved, whether you’re a player or staff, manager or supporter. Celtic Park Champions League nights are unforgettable, so I’m looking forward to it,” Ange said.
Previously while discussing Celtic returning to the Champions League this season Ange Postecoglou had this to say: “With a club of this stature with its history – one of the few with the privilege of lifting the trophy – that’s where we need to be.
“Not just for ourselves, the current group, but for our history, our past players and managers, our supporters, everyone who loves this football club. If you can do something special on that stage – that’s eternal. It will stay with them beyond their playing careers or beyond this football club.
“It’s one of those experiences a lot talk about, but the ones who have actually been involved in it who totally understand the significance. That’s what I am looking forward to.
“As much as people want to describe to you, I know when I’m out there, the Champions League anthem is going with our supporters right behind us, it will be one of those nights that will stay with me forever “It’s unique, and not something that can be passed on with words.”
Callum McGregor last week repeated his own preference to be drawn in Real Madrid’s group on Thursday while his manager just laughed at that indicating he’s happy to bow to the skipper on that one and regardless of who we get there will be big names in that group.
Most players at top clubs around Europe will of course be looking to draw Celtic as the pot 4 team so that they can get the chance to sample the best atmosphere in European football for themselves. That evening back at the start of February is the template Celtic fans will follow when the three home ties come around. It was a night that put us on our way to being in Thursday’s draw and it should us how we can all do our bit to help the team achieve some memorable results.
Can’t wait…and Real Madrid? 1980? We owe them one…what a night that was in the old stadium in the European Cup quarter final…