Ange Postecoglou admits he has defied the odds to be in charge of Celtic for 100 matches, but as for remaining Hoops manager for another ton of games, the former Socceroos coach says that may not be his “decision”.
Appointed by Celtic in June 2001, Postecoglou chalks up 100 competitive games as the Hoops’ boss on Thursday morning (AEDT) in a Scottish Premiership match against Hearts at Parkhead.
Postecoglou’s appointment was questioned by a host of pundits and fans, but after a shaky start, he is now adored, having already led Celtic to a Scottish title and two League Cup triumphs.
As a result of his success, the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory coach has been linked with a move to a handful of English Premier League clubs.
However, all that’s on Postecoglou’s mind is his “responsibility at the moment”.
“(That) is to produce a team that brings success to this football club and that the fans can be proud of,” Postecoglou said ahead of his 100th game as Celtic manager.
“Beyond that, anything that happens is kind of irrelevant to what’s most important.”
Despite saying he would not have accepted the Celtic post if he thought he “wasn’t going to do well”, Postecoglou seemed pleased to have surprised some critics by reaching his century with the Scottish giants.
“With the volume of games we have at this club, then it’s not that long in terms of time, but I guess 100 games is fairly significant and it would have been fairly long odds when I started the job that I would reach it, so I guess that’s something,” he said.
“I knew I had to deliver fairly quickly if I was to be here for 100 games, not because of the club’s stance but because I know that’s what the club demands.
“My focus is on the football and the team we want to be and the football we want to play.
“Being given the opportunity to manage this great football club was the best day for me and I’ve just been working hard ever since to repay that faith that people showed in me.
“I want to keep improving and pushing the boundaries on how good we can be as a football club.”
Despite belief that it was inevitable that Postecoglou would eventually coach in England’s top-flight, he suggested he would never take his Celtic job for granted.
“No manager lives in isolation,” Postecoglou said.
“We all work with people and have organisations we work for. There’s no manager that will sit down and say ‘I will be here’. It’s not our decision sometimes.”