“There was no great recognition of what I have done,” Ange on Scottish football’s doubting punditry

Speaking to Sky Sports after being named as the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year, Ange Postecoglou was quick to share the recognition with his entire staff, with particular praise for John Kennedy. And as far as this doubters are concerned – and within the media and punditry world there were plenty of them last summer and over the first few months of the season, Ange isn’t too concerned about proving them all to be wrong as his side sit on the verge of winning the league.

After yesterday’s 1-1 draw against theRangers – a match they knew that they had to win if they had to have even the slightest hope of retaining the title they won behind closed doors last season – it all looks like ending in tears for the One Season Wonders. That draw has left them with little real hope as Celtic go into the final three games against Hearts at Celtic Park on Saturday, Dundee United at Tannadice a week on Wednesday and finishing off against Motherwell at Celtic Park on the last day of the season, looking for 4 points to make absolutely sure.

“It’s very humbling, and I’m proud. It’s not just representative of my work but all the staff,” Ange told Sky Sports. “It’s been a big challenge for us and I think people have recognised that. It’s great when it is voted by your peers because they understand what you’re going through.”

Ange may have proved many a pundit wrong but that isn’t really of much concern to the self-confident Celtic manager. “It’s not what drives or motivates me. I’m not too harsh on people that said the jury was out on me. I understand that. There was no great recognition of what I have done, and when you come from the other side of the world that’s always understandable.

“People have recognised the challenge I had, especially in a year that many thought would be a transition season. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we tick off the big one.”

Ange arrived on his own, ahead of his family who were tying up loose ends in Japan for the family’s move to Glasgow, and decided against bringing in his own backroom staff in favour of working with the existing coaching staff already at the club. “It was my call not to bring anyone in – and just to assess the staff I had. The key to that was then getting them to believe in me. They’ve been outstanding.

“Led by John Kennedy who has been at the club a long time. He understands what success looks like but all the staff have been great.

“For us to be in the position we are has taken a massive collective effort.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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