JOE HART has been “brilliant” while reigniting his career at Celtic – according to delighted boss Ange Postecoglou.
The 35-year-old 75 times-capped England international keeper looked to be heading for the soccer scrapheap after three years in the twilight zone at Burnley and then Spurs.
Today, though, the Hoops netminder is preparing for another assault on the Champions League with the draw due a week on Tursday while he will be tasked with repelling Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in today’s midday clash at Rugby Park while Ange Postecoglou’s men go in pursuit of their 35th successive league game without defeat.
The former Manchester City shotstopper has been asked to modify his game in the Greek-Australian gaffer’s formation and he has responded superbly to his new sweeper/keeper position.
THINK ABOUT IT…Joe Hart has a message for his defenders in Dingwall.
Postecoglou said: “I wouldn’t have signed Joe if I didn’t think he could play the role I want.
“Ultimately, his number one job is to keep the ball out of the net. Beyond that, we want to be a team that plays out from the back.
“I don’t want my goalkeeper to be the playmaker. But if we are doing our job correctly, setting up in the right way, the passes that he has to make should be the simplest ones any keeper has to make.
“It’s more about embracing the role and the attitude the individual has, more than the skill set. There isn’t a goalkeeper on the planet who can’t pass the ball five yards.
“The funny thing is, most of them are asked to ping balls 55 yards on a dime.”
The Hoops boss, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “I knew Joe was an outstanding goalkeeper who’s had an outstanding career and has many outstanding years in front of him.
“It was more about Joe the person. Did he want to embrace a new challenge?
“And he’s been brilliant. Every day he wants to learn and embrace what we are doing.
“He has every right to question everything I do because he’s worked with some of the best managers in the world.
“He’s never done that, but, instead, he’s tried to understand the direction I want to take us in and bought into our football.
“That’s great for me because he’s an influential figure in the dressing-room now.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Kilmarnock v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.