New Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was buoyant over his side’s chances of hauling in Rangers despite joking he may have been as low as fifth choice in their manager search.
The Greek-born Australian has been charged with rebuilding Celtic after last year’s disastrous campaign, which saw dreams of 10-in-a-row crumble. But the 55-year-old former Socceroos boss reckons his experiences Down Under and in Japan – where he managed Yokohama F Marinos before taking up the Parkhead job offer – will allow him to take a fresh approach to the challenges in Glasgow.
Speaking at his first press conference, Postecoglou said: “I guess what I bring is maybe a different perspective.
“I’ve had a different journey from many others. Most of my career has been spent on the other side of the world and in internationals.
“Every team I’ve coached has had a very clear identity. I think that was one of the reasons I was chosen. In my 25 years in coaching, my teams have always played a certain way.”
Celtic finished 25 points behind Steven Gerrard’s unbeaten Scottish Premiership winners Rangers last term and Postecoglou is in no doubt about the scale of the task facing him as he looks to return Celtic to the top.
He said: “It is a massive challenge. But as a manager you always get opportunities where it’s a massive challenge. You don’t really walk into places where it’s running smoothly.
“It’s a process where you have to go through certain steps. If we play our football, we’ve got a decent chance of success.”
Postecoglou unperturbed by his place in Celtic pecking order
Celtic spent three months chasing former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe before the deal collapsed. But Postecoglou does not mind being second choice – or worse.
“You’re assuming I was second choice,” he joked. “I might have been fifth choice… I don’t know. It doesn’t really bother me. What’s important is that I’ve been given this opportunity.”
Pundits have estimated Celtic could bring in up to 15 new players this summer.
On the rebuild required, Postecoglou said: “It’s fairly extensive. It is a season of change. But after a period of success and what happened last year, it was always going to be a period of change.
“But I see it as an opportunity to make changes in the direction I want.
“We’re working very hard but with the players we have existing, they will all be treated on merit. For the ones coming in, we’ll bring in ones who will fit.”
Incoming Celtic chief executive Dominic McKay said: “The target for every Celtic manager is success and we’re craving success.
“But we want to do that with a style and a panache, which Ange’s teams in Australia and Japan have done.”