The Celtic manager missed the fine research from some club aficionados that had Twitter ablaze over the remarkable fact his team have only been behind for one minute – in December’s League Cup final triumph – across their past 1,350 minutes of football. The 56-year-old doesn’t shy away from stating a belief the sequence reflects unrelenting standards across a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions, which has produced 14 wins ahead of the cinch Premiership leaders’ trip to Aberdeen on Wednesday. In his typically joshing fashion, though, Postecoglou also considered the number-crunching revealed something else.
“I don’t know how sad your life is to be looking up stats like that, mate,” he said affectionately. “Look, I think it is an indication of our form over the last couple of months – possibly longer, to be honest. I think the key thing for us is not to get too sidetracked about what’s happened in the past. We’ve been really good at focusing on our next challenge and making sure we are at our best. I think when you do that your performance level doesn’t drop, if anything it keeps improving. Then you are really putting pressure on your opponents. Among all players, all teams, there is the propensity to have an off day, or a day when you are not at it. We haven’t had any of those. Even the games that have been tight, I still think we have given a good account of ourselves. To have been able to maintain that gives you those kind of statistics.”
As a manager who prides himself in a possession-based approach, Postecoglou doesn’t downplay the significance of the fact that across the 42 games he has helmed Celtic, in only five have his team not been credited with dominating the ball. “[To have played 42 games] is very demanding,” the Celtic manager said. “We struggled with a lot of those in the early part of the year but the team’s grown in belief and confidence. You have the obvious markers of winning games and where you are on the ladder, but the underlying stuff like possession is very important too.”