Ange Postecoglou on Celtic visit from Brendan Rodgers as he reveals ‘really kind’ behind the scenes words

Things must be good at Celtic Park if Brendan Rodgers is able to show his face again.

It’s three years since the Northern Irishman cut and ran with the Hoops’ eight-in-a-row bid still to be settled, sparking an explosion of outrage amongst the Parkhead faithful.

Such was the intensity of the anger, it looked doubtful a man who made history delivering seven straight trophies would ever be made welcome in the east end of Glasgow again.

But time is a great healer, and if there were any remaining sores to be soothed following Rodgers’ sudden exit to Leicester, Celtic’s impressive return to form under Ange Postecoglou has helped numb what was left of the pain.

So much so, Rodgers was guest of honor for his old side’s recent win over Dundee United.


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Joined by wife Charlotte in the directors’ box, there was no hint of bitterness in the ranks as he happily posed for pictures with punters.

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Postecoglou was just as glad to catch up, saying: “Brendan popped his head in before the game. It was great to see him.

“He’s someone I came across when he was Liverpool manager. They came down to Australia and I was coaching Melbourne Victory.

“He was really kind with his time and since then I’ve kept in contact with him.

“He was one of the first people to reach out when I got the job. He’s been really supportive and has sent me a couple of really nice messages.

“It was good to catch up with him. I am sure I have enjoyed being back at Celtic Park.

“He says it’s still the best experience of his career in terms of the atmosphere and the environment.”

Postecoglou’s buzzbomb football has captured the imagination of the supporters.

And he’s earned the respect of his predecessors too.

Rodgers’ return visit was followed by fulsome tributes from Neil Lennon, who hailed the “amazing performance” that ripped Rangers apart last week.

Martin O’Neill has also gushed over the Aussies’ inspired turn around of a team written off as no-hopes in the summer but now looking very much like title favourites.

Both believe Postecoglou is on track to add his name to the Parkhead honor board.

But the Aussie said: “It’s not something that I think about a lot in terms of the whole approval thing but they are two people who were very, very successful at this football club.

“Neil Lennon is a Celtic man. He was here as a player and a manager. Part of my role is to represent everyone at this club including past players and managers.

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“Hopefully I produce a team they are proud of because they will always have an association with this club and I know that they want this club to do well.

“If I’m pleasing them then I’m happy because it means I’m taking the club in the right direction.”

With his side halfway through a grueling run of 14 games in just two months, Postecoglou is already looking forward to some much-needed R&R this summer as he insisted there’s no need for another grueling rebuild.

He was faced with a major renovation job when he arrived at Parkhead back in June.

But he’s pulled off a stunning transformation after signing 17 players across two windows.

The vast majority of his new recruits have hit the ground running and propelled the Hoops to a 20-game unbeaten run in the league.

Postecoglou hopes that means there will be no need for another influx.

The boss – without Josip Juranovic for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie against Raith, but has Yosuke Ideguchi and Christopher Jullien available – said: “I’m hoping to be sitting beside a beach doing nothing this summer having worked it all out…

“There’s always challenges. Sometimes the more success you have, you may have
more players leaving. You just don’t know.

“But I definitely know that it won’t be as significant or as big a rebuild as we
had to go through in the past two windows.

“We will obviously always try to improve the squad but, more importantly, we will try and replace quality players if they leave.”

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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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