Rangers rival namechecked by Celtic's Ange Postecoglou among manager of year contenders

There is only one criteria Ange Postecoglou jokingly applies to criteria for being a manager of the year contender in Scottish football.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

In a season when there have been high-profile sackings – last week’s removal of Shaun Maloney by Hibs after a mere four-month tenure following their earlier jettisoning of Jack Ross, Aberdeen’s swift parting of ways with Stephen Glass and James McPake losing his position at Dundee – the Celtic manager believes simply hanging on in a brutal environment is worthy of commendation.

Pushed for names, Postecoglou alights on the man he will face when Celtic are hosted by Ross County this weekend. And the 56-year-old also shows he is no respecter of what is traditionally considered to be off-limits owing to his club’s bitterest rivalry by giving an honourable mention to his Rangers counterpart Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who will lead his team into a Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig next Thursday.

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“I haven’t thought a lot about it but Malky [Mackay] has done a great job,” said the Celtic manager. “At the start of the year most people wrote them off a little bit. He’s not only improved their results. He’s got them into the top six playing good football. It’s a credit to him that he stuck to it. I’m sure he’ll be motivated to get them as high up the table as possible. He’s been fantastic for them. Davie Martindale and Robbie Neilson have also done brilliant jobs at their respective clubs [Livingston and Hearts]. Gio has done a good job too. Everyone who’s survived has done a good job – because quite a few of them haven’t!”

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