The attitude of the 56-year-old to stepping back from the fray – as the three-week winter shutdown would seem to afford him, to an extent – suggests the Australian might be akin to a bizarro Santa Claus. Asked about how and whether he is able to switch off from his professional pursuit, Postecoglou gave the impression he has had his one day of doing that. And it’s sufficient.
“Naaah,” he said, screwing up his face in faux pained expression over the enquiry. “I had a nice morning with my family [on December 25]. I’ve got some young ones who were causing chaos with their gifts from Father Christmas. And that was great. But look, I love what I do. I don’t need to switch off. It’s fine. I’ve really enjoyed the first six months, as challenging as it has been. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I know there are massive challenges ahead so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve got plenty of energy. We’ll have plenty of time to switch off mate when I’m old and grey.
“It’s been hectic, for sure, from the moment I arrived. I don’t think there has been any sort of time when we’ve been able to relax. At the beginning, it was throwing guys together, getting players in. We’ve had injuries, we’ve had all sorts. The schedule has been really tough. All along, we’ve been consistent and I’ve been consistent about not making excuses or allowances for the players. I’ve just said to them, ‘let’s just show our character through all these things’ and they’ve been great. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. It’s been quick, for sure, It’s been a bit of a blur and I’m looking forward to all the new year. [The shutdown] will be no break, just about keep cracking on outside of the game-recovery schedule, and working with the players and on our game. It’s going to be a crucial time We’ve known we need to strengthen the squad during January. This gives us a chance to push along with that and we hope to get some good news in the new year on bringing in reinforcements.”