What Martin O’Neill told Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou as boss reveals humbling chat brought him down to earth

It has been 17 years since Martin O’Neill sat down in the Celtic dugout but the Hoops can still rely on the legendary boss for a bit of motivation.

The quick-witted Northern Irishman bumped into Ange Postecoglou at the club’s Foundation charity bash in London on Thursday night and the encounter has revved up the current gaffer for even more success next season.

Postecoglou will savor this one for now but he said: “Martin mentioned he won a Treble in his first year! I only won a double!

“It’s all good. That’s the beauty of this football club. You don’t need to look anywhere else for motivation or inspiration. It’s a club which is built on success and great deeds.

“All of us who get the chance to serve the club, you want to set your own mark and try to emulate the feats of the great people who’ve been here.

“I just find it inspiring and motivating that the legends have set those standards.

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“It’s up to me, the people who work with me and the ones who come after me to try to maintain those standards.”

It’s a wonder Postecoglou is still on his feet after a whirlwind few days.

There was securing the Premiership title at Tannadice and the impromptu party back at Parkhead into the small hours of Thursday morning.

The manager was then on a flight for the charity shindig down south before shooting back up to take training yesterday morning.

But the Aussie has quickly buried himself in the DNA of the club and is determined to ride the crest of the wave.

Postecoglou said: “It helped we’d won the title! It might have had a different feel if we hadn’t got the result the night before.

“The Foundation really does unbelievable work. The people who support it and run it are unbelievable in terms of effort.

“It was a great night because it was for such a great cause and it was great sharing that moment with people who love this club.

“It’s been pretty full on. But it was great to support the Foundation and it was great to see the legendary Martin O’Neill there and spend some time with people. But I had to get back up here for training so it was a bit of flying visit.

“I’d bumped into Martin a couple of times before very briefly. He has always been very kind and it was great to catch up with him. He’s a great man.”

Postecoglou has joined O’Neill in the ranks of beloved Celtic managers after a spectacular debut season in Scotland.

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The 56-year-old came here determined to fight for silverware while simultaneously reworking the squad.

Not many predicted he would pull it off in his first year. Even Postecoglou couldn’t have pictured himself standing on the steps of Celtic Park at one in the morning with a megaphone addressing thousands of adoring fans.

He said: “It was special. It was great at Tannadice. It was great sharing it with our supporters there who made the trip.

“It’s a fair drive back down here. It was pretty late, around midnight, and we were all pretty exhausted but we got word that there were a few people at Celtic Park and that few people ended up being a few thousand who were all singing. It’s one of those things which wasn’t organized, it was spontaneous.

“It was great for myself, the players and my staff to go out there and acknowledge them and see the joy on their faces.

“As I keep saying to the players, that’s the real rewards. You get others like medals but the best bit is what it does for the people who love this club.”

Success also has other rewards. Such as a new bumper contract. RecordSport revealed on Thursday Celtic are set to offer Postecoglou a long-term deal.

It could be more dough for the manager and an insurance policy for the Parkhead club if any suitors try to tempt the main man away.

Postecoglou reckons the fans should have no fears about that and said: “My own fulfillment doesn’t come from those kinds of rewards. It comes from being part of something special and that’s what I have here.

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“I can assure you the club has looked after me and my family in every possible way, I couldn’t feel more supported.

“If I keep doing a good job I’m sure I’ll be looked after in the future too. That’s not just about contracts it’s about other things as well.

“I’m happy at Celtic, you’ll never have to worry about that stuff with me.”

Postecoglou’s immediate plan is to soak up trophy day in Glasgow’s east end.

He said: “We absolutely want to finish the season with a victory. Our preparation hasn’t been any different from any other game.

“It’s the final game of the season and we want to play our football.

“Motherwell had a great result in midweek and got themselves into a position to play European football.

“It’s going to be a good test for us. We’ve been great at home all year and we want to continue that and finish things off in the right way.”


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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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