Ange Postecoglou got very open and honest this week as his team gets set to clinch the SPFL title.
The Australian has come in and turned Celtic fortunes around in a remarkably short period of time. Tipped to be sacked b yChristmas, he’s about to win Celtic’s title back at the first time of asking.
I can’t think of many managers who could have done the job Ange has managed to do at Celtic this term.
He had no real foundation and had to build a team from scratch, implementing his own style and system in the process.
Asked by Sky Sports about the pressures of management – Ange makes it clear he has to be fully immersed in his job and there’s not a minute he switches off from what he’s doing.
“It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle choice – I’ve heard managers who’ve said they try and switch off, but the reality of it is, it’s very difficult.”
“There’s never a moment where you can switch your phone off because there could be a critical bit of news coming down that line and you’ve got to be responsible for it – you’ve constantly got to be on alert.“
Ange Continued: “You’ve got to also make sure that you’re dividing time to them because ultimately, they’re making the sacrifices, when I talk about lifestyle choice, it’s not a lifestyle choice for me. It’s a lifestyle choice for the family.
“Having a strong family unit and again, embracing that this is a lifestyle that we’re going to go down. It definitely helps.”
Ange was very honest about the downside of the game and handling defeats. Even at this stage in his career, a defeat can knock him pretty hard, admitting he didn’t want to see anyone after the semi-final defeat at Hampden back in April.
“You always have this competitive streak inside you. And again, something I tell young managers is that the pain of a loss in your first year doesn’t diminish as the years go on. You know, you still feel it.
“We lost the semi-final [Scottish Cup] to Rangers, and I had friends over here from Australia I haven’t seen for two years, we had dinner organised after. I didn’t turn up, my wife had to host them, they understand because they’re my mates and they still have a nice dinner in spite of that.
“But you know, it’s something that you kind of hope you learn to deal with better as you get older.”
Coping with the pressure and expectation on the Celtic manager is only possible because if his strong support system. From his family to the friends since Ange has had since he was 8 years-old, they all play their part.
“The way I’ve coped with all those things is by having a really strong family unit. I’ve got a great group of friends that I’ve had since I was eight years old. I haven’t changed that,” he added.
“The difficult bits and the challenging bits of what I do, I always counterbalance with, if you walk into a room of school kids who are eight years old, and you ask all of them what they want to be when they grow up.
“A real small percentage realise those dreams. I’m one of those kids. I always balance out the hard stuff to say, well, you know what? I’m actually doing what I love.”
I think I speak for the whole support when I say we’ve not just got a great manager onboard, but we’ve got an even greater human being. Ange is a credit to himself and Celtic football club and we can’t wait to see him hold the league title aloft.