Ange Postecoglou is already a Celtic hero. Having arrived under incredibly tough circumstances, not only has he been able to steady the ship but he has also guided them to the most unlikeliest of doubles, winning the Scottish League Cup and Premiership this season. Not many would have predicted that when the Hoops failed in their pursuit of Eddie Howe last summer and brought in the former Australian national team manager instead.
But football never stops. As this season draws to a close with a title celebration, eyes will already be moving towards the next one.
It is certainly going to be a big one for Celtic, who will be returning to the Champions League group stage after many years. After seeing the Rangers reach the final of the Europa League, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side will have their chance to win it against Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, the desire to succeed in Europe must have only increased in the Hoops.
Postecoglou is not looking towards the Ibrox side for motivation though. As reported by The Herald, the Celtic manager said:
“I just don’t use any other club as a reference point for us.
“I said it a few weeks back and I think people took it the wrong way when I said if I need inspiration, I just need to look at the trophy we’ve won in Europe. That’s not because I am trying to downplay anybody else’s achievements. You don’t need any other reference points. The reference points are in this building. I see them every day.
“I met Martin O’Neill on Thursday night and he took this club to the UEFA Cup final, that’s our reference points. That’s the level we have been in and want to continue to be in. I don’t want to downplay Rangers’ achievements or any other club’s but I am not going to use them as reference point to who we are or how good we can be. I know what we need to be, it’s everywhere I look at this football club.”
Celtic manager gives brilliant reply to Rangers question
That is a great reply to say the least. Celtic have won too much themselves to have to look at others for inspiration.
But at the same time, one must admit that the Rangers have been impressive in Europe this season and they have provided the blueprint of how Scottish teams can succeed in European competitions in today’s day and age. Hang on somehow away from home and then use the incredible atmosphere at home to win the tie.
This worked in back-to-back Europa League knockout ties against SC Braga and RB Leipzig. But one does get the feeling that Postecoglou is the type of guy who will want to do it his way.