It’s been 17 years since Martin O’Neill sat in the Celtic dugout, but the Hoops can always count on the legendary boss for some motivation.
The quick-witted Northern Irishman bumped into Ange Postecoglou at the club’s Foundation charity night in London on Thursday night and the encounter ignited the current gaffer for even greater success next season.
Postecoglou will relish this one for now but he said, “Martin mentioned he won a hat-trick in his freshman year! I only won a double!
“It’s perfect. That’s the beauty of this football club. You don’t have to look anywhere else for motivation or inspiration. This is a club that is built on success and great deeds.
“All of us who are lucky enough to serve the club want to establish your own brand and try to emulate the achievements of the great people who have been here.
“I just find it inspiring and motivating that legends have set those standards.
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“It’s up to me, the people who work with me and those who come after me to try to maintain those standards.”
It’s a miracle that Postecoglou is still standing after a whirlwind few days.
There was securing the Premiership title at Tannadice and the impromptu party at Parkhead into the wee hours of Thursday morning.
The manager was then on a flight for the shindig charity in the south before heading back up for training yesterday morning.
But the Aussie quickly dug into the club’s DNA and is determined to ride the crest of the wave.
Postecoglou said: “It helped us win the title! It could have been different if we hadn’t gotten the result the night before.
“The Foundation is really doing amazing work. The people who support and run it are incredible in terms of effort.
“It was a great night because it was for such a good cause and it was great to share this moment with people who love this club.
“It was quite complete. But it was great to support the Foundation and it was great to see the legendary Martin O’Neill there and hang out with people. But I had to come back here to train, so it was a bit of a whirlwind visit.
“I had met Martin a few times before very briefly. He was always very nice and it was great to find him. That’s a great man.
Postecoglou has joined O’Neill in the ranks of Celtic’s beloved managers after a spectacular first season in Scotland.
The 56-year-old came here determined to fight for silverware while reworking the squad.
Few people predicted that he would succeed in his first year. Not even Postecoglou could have imagined himself standing on the steps of Celtic Park at one in the morning with a megaphone speaking to thousands of adoring fans.
He said: “It was special. It was great in Tannadice. It was great to share it with our supporters who made the trip.
“It’s a good road to get back here. It was quite late, around midnight, and we were all quite exhausted, but we learned that there were a few people in Celtic Park and few people ended up being a few thousand all singing. It’s one of those things that wasn’t organized, it was spontaneous.
“It was great for me, the players and my team to go out there and recognize them and see the joy on their faces.
“As I keep telling players, those are the real rewards. You get others like medals, but the best thing is what it does for people who love this club.
Success has other rewards as well. Like a new exceptional contract. Save sport revealed on Thursday, Celtic are set to offer Postecoglou a long-term contract.
It could be more dough for the manager and an insurance policy for the Parkhead club if suitors try to tempt the main man.
Postecoglou believes fans shouldn’t be afraid of that and said, “My own fulfillment doesn’t come from those kinds of awards. It comes from being part of something special and that’s what I have. here.
“I can assure you the club looked after me and my family in every way possible, I couldn’t feel more supported.
“If I keep doing a good job, I’m sure I’ll be taken care of in the future too.” It’s not just contracts, but also other things.
“I’m happy at Celtic, you’ll never have to worry about that with me.”
Postecoglou’s immediate plan is to soak up Trophy Day in East Glasgow.
He said: “We definitely want to end the season with a win. Our preparation was no different from any other game.
“It’s the last game of the season and we want to play our football.
“Motherwell had a great midweek result and put himself in a position to play European football.
“It will be a good test for us. We’ve been great at home all year and we want to continue and finish things the right way.