Ange Postecoglou didn’t sign up at Celtic to hear fans chanting his name into heartfelt renditions of Christmas hits, but the Australian manager is enjoying the feeling he’s shifted some initial perceptions and low expectations.
After a shaky start, Celtic have settled into life under Postecoglou and are currently unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, including their last seven league games.
The Hoops are also in the Scottish League Cup semi-final and beginning to find their groove in the Europa League.
They now sit second in the Scottish Premiership, only four points behind Rangers, while their most recent victory over Dundee even saw fans work “Postecoglou” into a reworked chant of Wham’s hit ‘Last Christmas’.
In July, Postecoglou noted he’d felt other European clubs had “swiped away” his past accomplishments as they had been achieved in Japan and Australia.
Four months on the former Socceroos boss has brought an exciting brand to Celtic, giving fans reason to believe.
“In terms of opening eyes, I think what it has done is there’s certainly more interest in Japanese football now because obviously Kyogo’s (Furuhashi) come here and he’s done well and obviously with my background in Japan,” Postecoglou told reporters on Tuesday.
“Inevitably eyes shift to different areas when people have an impact.
“So I’m hoping that means that this part of the world looks at the other side of the world, Asia and obviously where we are a little bit differently and rather than looking at a person’s passport, just maybe look at what they’ve achieved and what they can bring to the table.
“But from my perspective, and personally about me, I think people are at least now understanding my background and the way I’ve done things has put me in a place where I’ve been given an opportunity and people are now prepared to give me that opportunity, whereas probably at the start they were questioning whether I should even have an opportunity.
“So that’s where we’re at but the difficult stuff’s still ahead of us and I need to make sure I bring success to the football club, and I’m sure hopefully that’ll help change some of the perceptions.”
Rangers recently lost manager Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa but Postecoglou was adamant his rivals’ disruption wouldn’t affect his own charges.
“It is very intense over here and there’s a story every day about something, so if you start buying into that stuff you’ll be chasing things down rabbit holes that you’ll never get out of,” he said.
“We’ve been really good so far, just concentrating on ourselves and making sure that we keep building on what we’re doing.”
Postecoglou relished how his charges had shown resilience after a difficult start but stressed they hadn’t “accomplished anything yet”.
“It’s all good saying ‘well we’ve hit a decent bit of form’ but until you bring success to an organisation, to a club, then that’s when you know that you’ve begun the process of accomplishing something,” he said.
“But I’m loving it. It’s what I’ve always wanted. It’s where I want to be. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”