If you cast your minds back to the first fixture of the Scottish Premiership campaign, it was far from the ideal start to life as Celtic manager for Ange Postecoglou, with his new-look side falling to a 2-1 defeat against Hearts.

The 56-year old and his squad have come a long way since then, making a whole host of summer signings and going on to lift the first piece of silverware in December to top off a dramatic turnaround in the first half of the campaign.

As the Celtic boss prepares for a return to the capital on Wednesday evening, Postecoglou is looking forward to seeing his more settled side in action, in comparison to the Hoops last trip to Tynecastle in late July.

“I wouldn’t call it my baptism,” he said with regards to that opening game of the season, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.

“I had already been baptised by then; we had a couple of Champions League games. But obviously, it was a disappointing start to the league season for us.

“We played okay and certainly did enough in the game to get a result out of it but not winning wasn’t a great way to start off our campaign. At the same time, I do remember it was in the middle of a pretty hectic period for us.

“I think Kyogo had just arrived at lunchtime that day. He had lunch with the boys, and then I put him on the bench. Carl Starfelt had only been in a couple of days and just joined us. It was a tumultuous time for us, but we were disappointed not to start the season better than we did.

“Things have changed a fair bit. Back then we were still putting a team together, and since we have certainly developed the squad.

“Since the break there, with the players we have signed, we have got a stronger squad and, more importantly, a more settled squad. I think players are a lot more settled and know how we want to play out football a lot better.

“Our football is constantly improving, which is great, and over the last two or three months, we have been consistent. We are in a good space while knowing we need to keep improving.”

It was a disappointing afternoon on the 31st of July. But looking back, it feels like an almost completely different squad and mentality, which Postecoglou has implemented over the last few months.

Tynecastle is always a tough place for Celtic sides to go, so it will be interesting to see how this group of players do going into the game.

The crucial fixtures continue to come thick and fast. Wednesday night is no different.


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