Ange Postecoglou reveals the moment he knew Celtic were on track to dethrone Rangers and win title
Ange Postecoglou reveals the moment he knew Celtic was on track to dethrone Rangers as the Australian boss basks in his outstanding first year at Parkhead – explaining why he ‘loved’ Tom Rogic’s ‘perfect ending’
It was February 2 when Ange Postecoglou first made herself believe.
The Australian had been deliberately coy about Celtic’s chances of winning the title for the first six months of the season, but felt a seismic change in direction after his team thrashed Rangers at Parkhead.
Celtic dismantled the then-reigning champions 3-0 to end a seven-game winless run in the Old Firm and, crucially, overtake Rangers at the top of the table.
Ange Postecoglou said he knew Celtic were on track to dethrone Rangers after beating their rivals 3-0 at Parkhead on February 2 (above)
The Hoops never gave up on the lead, finishing four points ahead of their arch rivals to take a 10th Scottish Premiership title in 11 seasons.
“That created a huge shift for us in terms of moving forward,” Postecoglou . told me air sports of Celtic’s dominant victory over Rangers.
“I think if we were beaten that night and Rangers had knocked us out, you go: the gap is four points, we have to play them twice and we still have to convince people that we are capable of repelling them.” .’
As it happened, Celtic drove to a three-goal lead before half-time and Rangers never put a glove on them.
Reo Hatate scored twice as the Hoops took a 3-0 lead at half-time against the champions
Celtic topped the rankings after beating Rangers in February and never looked back
After their dominant win in February, the Hoops won 2-1 at Ibrox in April and drew 1-1 at home in their last meeting of the season.
“The way everything happened that night, I just thought, ‘Okay, now it’s my job to make sure we stay on track,'” Postecoglou added.
“I think the players and the staff really took faith out of that game.”
Celtic finished 25 points behind Rangers in 2021, losing three of Postecoglou’s first six games in charge, before embarking on a 31-game unbeaten league game to reclaim the title the first time he asked for it.
Postecoglou led Celtic to the title in his first season with Parkhead and their 10th in 11 years
Less than two months before going on to take on Rangers, Celtic lifted their first silverware of the season after beating Hibernian 2-1 in the Scottish League Cup final, a result that Postecoglou said fueled the confidence of his players.
“When you get your hands on the trophy, you know why you have it,” said the 56-year-old.
‘You believed in something, you carried out something. That re-fuels that self-fulfilling belief in the group and in ourselves that if we keep doing this, who knows what the next trophy will be.”
Celtic’s title win proved the perfect farewell for compatriot Tom Rogic, who left the Bhoys at the end of the season after 10 years at Parkhead.
The Celtic boss paid tribute to compatriot Tom Rogic who left the club after ten years
Rogic (center) joined Central Coast Mariners in January 2013 as a 20-year-old
He won six Premierships, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups during his stay in Scotland
The 29-year-old signed from Central Coast Mariners in January 2013, winning six Scottish Premiership medals, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups in a decade of trophies.
Israeli teammate Nir Bitton also departed at the end of the campaign after earning eight league medals, four Scottish Cups and six League Cups after joining FC Ashdod in the summer of 2013.
“I like the ending we gave Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton,” Postecoglou said. Especially Tom because there is an association. Seeing him walk away and say goodbye, the emotion.
“I think that’s a moment that will stand the test of time. […] You couldn’t have written it that way, but it finally fell into our laps that it could be the perfect ending.”