“In 25 years of doing this job, I’ve never taken anything personally,” Ange Postecoglou

Yesterday saw the arrival of Celtic’s latest signing Yuki Kobayashi but it’s unlikely that the 22 yea-old left sided centre back is likely to keep that particular tag for too long as Ange Postecoglou is back at Lennoxtown and looking to bring in further signings.

The Celtic manager and his players will head back to Glasgow Airport tomorrow to fly out to Portugal for a week of winter training, with one bounce game already scheduled against Ligue 1 side, Stade Rennais, who are currently third in the French league.

And Yuki will be included within the travelling party and could be joined by additional new arrivals, more than likely to include the Canadian right back Ally Johnston. The 24 year old showed up well in Qatar and with Canada already knocked out of the World Cup, the much discussed move to Celtic is now expected to be completed.

Ange Postecoglou was on fine form at his media conference yesterday afternoon and when quizzed about imminent new arrivals in addition to new Bhoy Yuki, the Celtic manager had this to say, as he confirmed his interest in signing Ally Johnston.

“We’re looking at a number of players. We are looking to get stronger and he’s definitely one of the players on our radar. Hopefully there will be some developments in the near future and he can add something to our football club.”

Of course with the January window opening approaching there could be departures as well as arrivals and Josip Juranovic, performing exceptionally well at the World Cup with Croatia and Giorgos Giakoumakis, with his improved contract talks having apparently stalled (no-doubt an agent was involved somewhere along the line in that story coming out), both having been linked with moves away in recent weeks.

For Postecoglou, with decades of experience in managing players and their expectations, he takes all of this in his stride, will handle any situation as it arises and won’t take anything personally.

Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium crosses the ball past Josip Juranovic of Croatia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Croatia and Belgium at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on December 01, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

“I don’t think too much about it unless something is presented to me,” Ange said. “I focus more on what I see every day in training. If players are unhappy, have concerns or are looking for other things then it’ll come to my attention pretty quickly and we’ll deal with it as we go along.

“Every transfer window is an opportunity for us to get stronger and better, and that’s what we will be looking to do. It doesn’t always mean we will bring players in, it will be about not losing players that would weaken us. Sometimes we’ll be developing and won’t need to bring anyone in.

Giorgos Giakoumakis applauds at the end the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Celtic and Real Madrid, at the Celtic Park stadium on September 6, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“But the windows are always an opportunity to improve and that’s how we’ll treat this one. It’s not about me imposing conditions that players have to be happy. Players have different priorities at different times.

“I have understood that my whole managerial career. In 25 years of doing this job, I’ve never taken anything personally or felt players should think a certain way. Some players want more game time, some think it might be time for them to improve their financial situation or maybe it’s just they don’t like the way I manage. It could be a number of things, but it’s constantly evolving.

“My role is to look at what I see every day and deal with the issues that come up. I don’t go around telling the players they need to feel a certain way or behave a certain way. It’s down to them. We know what this football club has to offer in terms of the size of the club, the passionate fanbase, the pressure for success and European football.

“We are pretty clear about it. But sometimes players’ priorities can change and if that happens I’ll deal with it.”

Watch Ange Postecoglou’s media conference below…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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