Ange Postecoglou looks back at last Celtic Park triumph over Rangers and calls for 'electricity'

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hopes there can be a covenant between the club’s support and their team in what could effectively be a cinch Premiership decider against Rangers in Glasgow’s east end.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Australian believes that the fanbase took “a leap of faith” in backing him and his recast team through difficult early times. The emotional outpouring for this new Celtic enjoyed was of an almost religious fervour when they swept aside the Ibrox side 3-0 on their own patch in February. Postecoglou is looking for that cacophony under the lights three months ago to be replicated to spark the touchpaper on his team’s intent to be as dominant again – as they did not prove to be in the Scottish Cup 2-1 semi-final derby loss at Hampden a fortnight ago, or even in winning by the same scoreline at Ibrox 29 days ago.

“I think we will get a similar atmosphere this weekend,” he said in response to whether the night-time staging of the February fixture had provided them with extra impetus. “The support has been behind the team all year. They have really had a leap of faith with this team and backed it from the start when maybe it wasn’t quite so evident that we could be successful this year.

“They know we are in the final stretch and I’m sure they will want to make Sunday as much of an electric atmosphere as they can. They will try to help the team along and our role is to try and reciprocate by putting on a performance that reflects the support we have had all year. Day or night I don’t think it matters. It’s going to be a cracking atmosphere.

“It was good [that last home derby] because going into it we knew how significant the game was. It was our chance to go to top spot for the first time. After working awfully hard and chasing all season we knew the significance of that. Irrespective of the atmosphere we knew how much it meant and you build yourself up for that. You wait and see what the reaction is from the players but the whole group was fantastic even though many of them were experiencing that derby for the first time.

“[The run of three derbies] has been three different challenges, away in the league, semi-final of the cup and now home in the league. Different kinds of environments too, but there’s no doubt the players are looking forward to having the supporters behind them.”