Ange Postecoglou revels in Celtic title win as delighted Spurs boss beams: 'I love them, mate'

Former Celtic manager has message for Brendan Rodgers and players

Ange Postecoglou has expressed his love for Celtic after revealing he took great delight in watching his former club lift the Scottish Premiership title with a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock in midweek.

Postecoglou guided the Hoops to back-to-back championships during a two-year spell in Glasgow and was hero-worshipped by fans before being lured to the Premier League by Tottenham Hotspur last summer. The Greek-born Australian, who has narrowly missed out on a top four finish in his first season in charge of Spurs, also collected two League Cups and one Scottish Cup north of the border as he signed off at Celtic with a domestic treble last season.

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“I love them, mate. Yeah, brilliant,” he responded when asked for his reaction to Celtic’s title win in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tottenham’s final match of the season away to Sheffield United on Sunday. “Great people, great manager, great staff, great footballers. It’s an unbelievable club. I watched the game and I know, because I’ve experienced it, how that would have felt at the final whistle, then going back to Celtic Park late at night. It’s a pretty special place.”

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see former club Celtic win the Scottish title this week. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see former club Celtic win the Scottish title this week. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see former club Celtic win the Scottish title this week. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Postecolgou also acknowledged the job done by Brendan Rodgers during a “difficult year”, congratulating his Parkhead successor for picking up the reins and delivering a third successive title. He added: “Credit to them, it was a difficult year for sure for Brendan and the guys but when it mattered and when it counted they stood up and I couldn’t be happier for everyone there.”

Postecoglou was speaking for the first time since accusing his current club of having “fragile foundations” following the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in midweek. Spurs lost 2-0 in a match which left Tottenham supporters’ conflicted given a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s team would have put rivals Arsenal in pole position to win a first Premier League title in 20 years. Postecoglou laughed off pre-match suggestions Spurs fans were happy for their own team to lose but faced a different reality on the night and reflected candidly about it ahead of Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United.

“Look, I will try and explain it in this way. That is probably the worst experience I have had as a football manager in a game,” he admitted. “Because once I realised I got it wrong, in terms of what the atmosphere would be like and what people felt, I got a real anxiety within me of what happens if Man City, best team in the world and disposing of teams quite easily in the build-up, what if we play as well as we can, but they beat us 5-0?

“I got in cold sweats thinking about people questioning my integrity and the people I work with. Even watching the game back, there was a comment – somebody mentioned it to me – in commentary where someone says, ‘oh Tottenham are having a real go here,’ and you’re laughing about it. But that is 26 years of my life and if nothing else, people should know I love this game.

“I would hate to think, as Manchester City could have done to us, if we were on the end of a heavy defeat, then people would be questioning whether I prepared the team. Before people say that’s not going to happen, we know what over social media would have happened, 100 per cent and I would have to try to defend myself.

“That’s why I was animated on the night. I felt I just needed the boys and credit to them, I thought beside everything else our football was outstanding on the night and that was important.

“Not just for me, but for the players and for our football club because it would have cast aspersions on us as a football club. I don’t think anyone can say we didn’t make Man City earn that win the other night and it could have gone a very different way without anything changing from us just by Man City being Man City.”



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