The 56-year-old was seen putting his hand to the Celtic crest on his chest as he and his players took the acclaim on a circuit of the pitch following Celtic’s 2-0 triumph over Ferencvaros in the Europa League on Tuesday. It will assure a home crowd in buoyant mood for Saturday’s visit of St Johnstone through marking a high point across Postecoglou’s three months of competitive football that has brought some serious low points for a comprehensively overhauled Celtic squad.
As hasn’t been true of many predecessors across the past 20 years, the current Celtic manager is being afforded grace for any early gremlins. His honesty and affable nature can be factored into that, but he hopes it reflects the fanbase being able to see green shoots of a recovery built on the best of Celtic’s footballing heritage. “The Celtic fans have been great since I got here,” said the Celtic manager. “Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I haven’t bumped into anyone, either at games or just our and about, who hasn’t been supportive. I said when I got the job that maybe there were supporters who weren’t quite sure about me, but I know all of them would have wanted me to do well because if that happens then the club’s doing well and that’s all they want. Their passion and love is for their football club. [While] we’re individuals, transient figures that hope to contribute to Celtic doing well.
“I’m hoping that, if they like me, it’s because of what they see. I’m hoping they see that, even though the results haven’t been as smooth and as consistent as we want, the way the team is playing and the way we are going about things is what they want their football team to be. I clearly understand that; I knew that before I got here. As much as people weren’t too aware of me, I know what Celtic Football Club is about. I know what the history of it is, I know what supporters want to see in their football teams. And that’s what I’m trying to do. And because I’m trying to do that, the supporters are behind that. But like every other manager who’s served at this club, I’ll be judged in the end by the success or otherwise that I bring. And I’m comfortable with that. But our supporters have been fantastic towards the whole team to be fair, not just to me. I guess for me, it’s something that I value and cherish.”
Celtic’s St Johnstone encounter will be the club’s tenth Premieriship game; essentially the first-quarter point. With Celtic having won only five of their previous encounters, their form undoubtedly has been wobbly. Now, with three straight wins, Postecoglou expects his remoulded Celtic to firm up now. “I kind of knew that, after the second international break, we’d be more settled and that’s where we are,” the Celtic manager said. “Our performances have shown that we’ve made some progress, but how far along are we? That’s difficult to judge but we can get better and we have to get better.”