'I can't ignore it' - Ange Postecoglou admits losing temper over certain Celtic player 'behaviours'

Celtic have been so relentless under Ange Postecoglou that it would be hard to imagine the Australian ever having cause to lose his rag with his players.

However, the 57-year-old admits there have been occasions across his Parkhead tenure where he has been forced to show his angry side in dealing with certain "behaviours" that have not been to his liking. Supporters got a public glimpse of his temper in a Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers in February last year when an enraged Postecoglou could be heard on camera screaming at his players to stop passing the ball backwards. Such scoldings have also been served behind closed doors whenever the standards which have taken Celtic to another level under their current boss are not maintained.

“I’ve had my moments here, it’s fair to say!" he revealed. “People might be surprised because they might not have been at the most obvious times for some people. It’s not about getting angry or having a blast just for the sake of it. It’s about whether I feel something isn’t as it should be. Usually it’s around - not so much the game or results - but behaviours. If I see a behaviour that I don’t think fits in, I’ll make sure the player and the group knows about it. That’s my role. I can’t ignore it or let it go and be nice. That’s what everyone expects of me. If someone displays something that I don’t think fits in, I’ll have no hesitation in telling them it needs to be addressed."

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Postecoglou will hope he has no need to spit feathers in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at St Johnstone as Celtic look to continue their incredible league form. The Hoops have lost just once in their 24 Premiership outings to date, scoring 74 goals in the process, in defence of the title won last season.

Ange Postecoglou admits he has lost his temper at his Celtic players during his tenure. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Ange Postecoglou admits he has lost his temper at his Celtic players during his tenure. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Ange Postecoglou admits he has lost his temper at his Celtic players during his tenure. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“The first thing we do is ignore the stats. They can get you thinking you’re in a comfortable space,” Posteocglou explained. “It’s just the environment we create here. That’s what I’ve done here from day one. These guys come in and no day or minute is wasted.

“When you have that, you don’t really worry about stats or form. You know that’s irrelevant and in the past. What’s important is what the next step is. That’s the key. Look at our squad right now, it’s the strongest it's been since I arrived at the club. Training every day is really intense.

“The players can’t come in here and try to cruise through because they’ll get found out straight away. And they’ll lose their position. It just doesn’t allow for it. We have healthy competition. It’s not about anyone wanting others to fail. It’s about wanting everyone to succeed and push each other to the next level.”

Only three of the Celtic squad are out of contract in 2024 and asked whether he wants Joe Hart, David Turnbull and Aaron Mooy to stay beyond next summer, Postecoglou replied: “Yeah but it’s just about having discussions with the players themselves. I need to know where they're at, where their heads are.

“Last year, we had Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic with a year left. It would have been easy for me to let them roll on for another year. But after discussions we came to a conclusion where they felt there were other opportunities they wanted to explore and they moved on. With those three guys, I’m constantly talking to them about what their ambitions are.

“I want to make sure that every step of the way we’re looking after the player’s interests - but also looking after the club’s interest too. Every decision will be made against that backdrop."



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