ANGE POSTECOGLOU will use Celtic’s greatest-ever manager Jock Stein as his inspiration as he plans for the Champions League clash with RB Leipzig in the Red Bull Arena tonight.
The Hoops legend was born on this day 100 years ago and went on to bring unparalleled success to Parkhead with a silverware landslide, including, of course, the historic triumph in Lisbon on May 25 1967 when the club became the first British team to conquer Europe.
Stein also guided the side to the first nine-in-a-row title achievement from 1966 to 1974.
Postecoglou, looking for his first win in Group F after a 3-0 home loss to Real Madrid and a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw, acknowledged the remarkable sequence of success of the Celtic icon.
MAN ON A MISSION…Ange Postecoglou watches his players train at Celtic Park before their journey to Germany.
The Greek-Australian gaffer said: “His feats in terms of success are unquestionable, particularly with winning the European Cup and his domestic dominance.
“But I think his legacy goes way beyond that.
“He’s one of those figures that exists in football, where his impact on a football club goes beyond just the success.
“It was about the way the team played, the way they conducted themselves, the connection the team had with the fans and the connection he had with the fans.
“So, he’s one of those figures that even though his record was unbelievable, it goes beyond that.
“For guys like me, you’re not so much following in his footsteps as standing on his shoulders – and trying to uphold, hopefully, those values.
YOU’RE IN MY HEART…Ange Postecoglou salutes the Celtic supporters.
“I obviously want to bring success to this football club, that’s my aim.
“But I also want to uphold those values in terms of the way we play our football, understanding what our supporters mean to the football club – and all those kinds of things which I think were just as important to Jock Stein.”
Asked about Stein’s momentous achievements, Postecoglou, speaking to the Scottish Sun, answered: “I think it can potentially become a burden if you try to emulate his feats – because I don’t think ANYONE is going to get there.
“But the spirit in which he managed this football club, the way he got the team to play, I’m really big on that.
“I’ve said from day one, I want us to be a team that people talk about, not just because of our success, but because of the way we play our football.
“I think that is what that Celtic team embodied. They were exciting to watch irrespective of whether you were a follower of the club or a follower of Scottish football.
“Everyone in the world knew that when Celtic played the football they played it was worth a watch.
“That’s what I want to try to create with us.”
PARADISE…Jock Stein and his triumphant Celtic players parade the European Cup at Parkhead on May 26 1967 – the day after their historic victory in Lisbon. Also celebrating (left to right) are: John Clark, assistant boss Sean Fallon, Jim Brogan, Bobby Murdoch and Ian Young.
Speaking of the values he inherited, Postecoglou added: “I was well versed in it anyway.
“They are one of those clubs that historically people always bring up when they talk about major accomplishments and a style of football.
“That’s one of the teams. The beauty of this football club is that you are never too far away from it.
“There are people who are still there from that era who will remind you of it.
“It’s written on the walls and you just feel it in the air what this football club is about.
“I think there is definitely an alignment there in the way I want our team to play and the way I want us to connect with our fans that resonates well.
“A lot of those values are really close to my heart anyway.”