Ange Postecoglou insists Rangers arise in Europe ‘adds to our achievement’ as Celtic boss cools talk about rivals

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Ange Postecoglou insists watching Rangers conquer Europe won’t take any of the shine off Celtic’s domestic bid for glory.

If anything the Light Blues’ success story on the continent only adds more gloss.

Postecoglou isn’t casting an envious glance across the city as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men gear up for the Europa League Final.

The Aussie boss has enough on his plate trying to put the finishing touches to a spectacular campaign of his own.

Gers have defied expectations on the big stage but Celtic have done likewise in a Premiership season no one thought they could win with such a massive rebuilding job required last summer.

Yet here they both are.

Postecoglou reckons the Rangers achievements only magnify what his men have done this term.

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Celtic have just about managed to wrestle the league crown away from a top Gers outfit who have proved to be among the best on the continent.

Postecoglou wants the win that will all but seal the deal against Hearts today and was typically forthright when invited to take a peek over the Glasgow fence and ask if it took some of the jam out of the Parkhead doughnuts.

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He said: “No. You know I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.

“At the end of the day, to win a title you have to be better than every club in this country. That is who ends up being champions.

“So that is what we are going to try and do. Rangers’ European success has been well served by them.

“They’ve had a great run in Europe and are a good side, a very good side. They were champions last year and undefeated for that year.

“They have done well in all the competitions this year. You know, I don’t think that detracts from our achievements – if anything it adds to our achievements if we can become champions.

“Because for us to become champions then I don’t think anyone can deny we have had to beat some pretty strong opposition. It could show there are two strong sides in this competition and that both of them will deserve to be in the Champions League on the back of their performances.

“That could reflect well on our league.”



Tavernier, Kamara and Lundstram were the Scottish side's three scorers on the night
Tavernier, Kamara and Lundstrum were the Scottish side’s three scorers on the night

Postecoglou has more pressing concerns – such as getting the three points that will leave Rangers needed snookers in the title race.

And the Hoops gaffer is demanding his players sprint to the finishing line.

Postecoglou said: “We have got to just play well, win the game because we have played well, and see what develops from there.

“For me it isn’t about something being given to us.

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“We have had to earn everything this year. We’ve got to earn the title and the way we do that is by getting enough points on the board that we can’t be caught. And until that point nothing will change in the way we think about the games or our focus.

“That’s why we are in this position now. Not by grinding our way through but by trying to play in a certain way and taking a real positive approach in every game we’ve played and that needs to continue to the end.

“If we try and change or approach now, or tighten up in any way, we aren’t going to do ourselves justice. And what we want to show in these last three games the best of ourselves and try and play the best football we can.”

Postecoglou, who gave his men a couple of days off this week, added: “They’ve come back and trained really well and looked really bright.”

And he will go in to today’s Jambos clash needing to make more space on the mantelpiece.

The 56-year-old picked up his fourth manager of the month award on the spin and a record fifth of an incredible season – to add to his PFA manager of the year gong scooped up last weekend.

Postecoglou rounded up some of his unsung heroes behind the scenes for the customary picture – including Lisbon Lion John Clark – but there’s only one trinket left that matters now.

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He said: “We’ve been really consistent since the break over the past few months to be in this position. Great work by everyone involved and obviously it is pleasing to get these individual things.

“But ultimately it is about making sure we get the big one.”



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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