'No cuddles, mate': Ange Postecoglou on Tom Rogic's Celtic rejuvenation

It is tempting to reach assumptions over the spectacular rejuvenation of Tom Rogic at Celtic this season.

The smiles has returned to the face of Tom Rogic, and the poise and penetration to his game. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
The smiles has returned to the face of Tom Rogic, and the poise and penetration to his game. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The 28-year-old Australian has rediscovered his footballing joie de vivre just as he finds himself working under a fellow countryman and huge admirer of his talents under who he enjoyed his best spell at international level. The conclusion reached by many then, is the Rogic revival must come from Ange Postecoglou putting his arm around the playmaker and making him feel loved again. That would be to misunderstand the Celtic manager, though.

“I am not the cuddles type but I try and provide an environment where they feel comfortable and can be the best they can be,” said the 55-year-old. “That's what I try and create every day for everybody - players and staff. Just remind them that we are all pretty blessed to do what we do and we've a limited time in it, all of us, no matter who we are, so let's use every day to be the best we can be and remember why we started this whole journey when we were eight or nine years-old and picked up a ball and fell in love with the game.

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“Sometimes the professional game can sap that out of you, whether you are a player, coach or administrator, so I just try and provide an environment where you hope players enjoy their football, understand they have responsibilities and work hard but get a huge kick at the end of it because the rewards are some success and enjoying their football. That's what's happening at the moment with Tom. He's enjoying the environment, the training and the way we play our football. So no cuddles, mate, just let's get on with it.

"He's only 28 and for every footballer your career is not a linear process. There are up and downs that players have to deal with at different times in their careers, whether that's injuries or loss of form. Ultimately, Tom's still got a great deal ahead of him and can be a really influential player and I am super pleased to have him in my team.”

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