Through his 100 games in charge of Celtic Ange Postecoglou has earned more than respect and was feeling the love after celebrating his milestone match with a 3-1 win over Hearts at Parkhead.
Celtic’s win in a match involving five Socceroos – Hoops midfielder Aaron Mooy and Hearts quartet Kye Rowles, Cameron Devlin, Nathaniel Atkinson and Garang Kuol – maintained their nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
Despite admitting “we weren’t great”, Postecoglou praised his side’s “mentality” after the Scottish champions came back from a goal down to win with goals from Japanese pair Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi and Montenegro international Sead Haksabanovic.
“We had to work hard for it,” Postecoglou told Celtic TV.
“We didn’t seem to get into our groove in terms of our football. Some of that is because I made a few changes and that disrupted things … so I have to make allowances for that.
“Ultimately, the players still showed a really strong mentality and it’s highlighted again with the quality of our three great goals.”
Following the match, Celtic supporters unveiled a banner that read: “Gone by Christmas? Here’s to 100 more.”
It was in reference to the many critics of Postecoglou’s appointment who felt that after getting the Celtic job in June 2021 he would be sacked within six months.
However, the former Socceroos coach has been a huge success at the Hoops, having already secured the Scottish title and two League Cups during his tenure.
“I appreciate the support I have had from the fans since the day I arrived,” Postecoglou said.
“I haven’t felt anything but support, even when it wasn’t that evident what we were doing. They got behind me and the team and that has never been lost on me.
“I want to repay that and I try to do that on a daily basis.”
The two teams meet again on Saturday night (AEDT) in a Scottish Cup quarter-final battle at Tynecastle.
“We’re getting into the period of the season where everyone has something to play for.” Postecoglou said.