Ange Postecoglou says he wants to build a Celtic team that "that’s exciting to watch, that scores goals, that’s aggressive, doesn’t take backward steps or fear any opponent." The Australian admits there is a "lot of work to do" ahead of Champions League tie with FC Midtjylland
Friday 25 June 2021 17:02, UK
Ange Postecoglou has vowed to bring a new perspective but warned an "extensive" rebuild of his Celtic squad is required.
The Greek-born Australian has been charged with transforming Celtic after last year's disastrous campaign, which saw dreams of 10-in-a-row crumble.
But the 55-year-old former Socceroos boss reckons his experiences Down Under and in Japan - where he managed Yokohama F Marinos before taking up the Parkhead job offer - will allow him to take a fresh approach to the challenges in Glasgow.
"I guess what I bring is maybe a different perspective," said the new Celtic manager, speaking at his first press conference on Friday.
"I've had a different journey from many others. Most of my career has been spent on the other side of the world and in internationals.
"Every team I've coached has had a very clear identity. I think that was one of the reasons I was chosen. In my 25 years in coaching, my teams have always played a certain way."
Celtic finished 25 points behind Steven Gerrard's unbeaten Scottish Premiership winners Rangers last term and Postecoglou is in no doubt about the scale of the task facing him.
"It's fairly extensive," replied Postecoglou when asked about the size of the rebuild required. "It is a season of change. But after a period of success and what happened last year, it was always going to be a period of change.
"I see it is an opportunity to make changes in the direction I want.
"We're working very hard but with the players we have existing, they will all be treated on merit. For the ones coming in, we'll bring in ones who will fit."
Celtic spent three months chasing former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe before the deal collapsed, but Postecoglou does not mind being second choice - or worse.
"You're assuming I was second choice," he said. "I might have been fifth choice. I don't know.
"It doesn't really bother me. What's important is that I've been given this opportunity."
Incoming Celtic chief executive Dominic McKay added: "The target for every Celtic manager is success and we're craving success.
"But we want to do that with a style and a panache, which Ange's teams in Australia and Japan have done."
Sky Sports News reporter Mark Benstead asked the first questions to Postecoglou when he faced the media in Glasgow and believes the 55-year-old's answers should give Celtic fans hope head of the new season.
"Ange Postecoglou came across well and also spoke with a bit of humour and personality.
"He dealt with the difficult questions well and one thing that was very clear is that he will do things his own way.
"I spoke to a few people who knew Ange before he joined and they all said he was very particular in how he operates and that came across.
"When asked if John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan will be a part of his backroom staff - he was clear that it will be his decision.
"Following a difficult season I'm sure Celtic supporters will find what he said quite encouraging and reassuring.
"The only thing that would concern me is that he has got a lot to do in such a short space of time.
"He was asked about the future of Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer and said he is yet to speak to them both. If I was a fan I would like to have seen that dealt with already.
"The last thing Celtic need is uncertainty with the Champions League qualifiers less than a month away.
"However, he seemed aware of the task in front of him and said he was most looking forward to the process of putting the foundations in place for the future.
"Postecoglou has a clear vision and philosophy and there is not long to go until we'll see him in the dugout at Celtic Park.
"I think there are two things that stood out that will be music to the ears of Celtic fans; he wants to play football that everyone talks about and crucially he doesn't take finishing second too well."
Ange Postecoglou must bring instant success to Celtic and will not be given time to settle, according to Paul Lambert, who also believes the transfer window will be "massive" for his former club.
There are question marks over the future of key players including Leicester target Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer, with Bayer Leverkusen in talks to sign the defender.
The 55-year-old is also searching for a new captain after Scott Brown joined Aberdeen as player coach, while several other players left the club after loan spells at Parkhead.
"It is a massive season for Celtic regarding players going and coming in," Lambert said.
"I think he has got to assess what he has got there and who wants to stay and who wants to go - that will be massive for him.
"The season Celtic had last year wasn't to the standard everyone expected but you get that when you're at a club of that size.
"It is not a normal run-of-the-mill club when you get time to bed yourself in. He'll need to find his feet quickly and when it really kicks off, you have to win games.
"He seems a really clever guy and knows what he wants to do but ultimately it will be down to the players he gets in and the players already there."