ANGE POSTECOGLOU insists his players MUST embrace the relentless challenges and expectation levels that come with being a Celtic player.
The Greek-Australian gaffer is preparing his team for the High Noon Premiership confrontation against Hibs at Easter Road tomorrow – his 47th occasion in charge since his June arrival as Neil Lennon’s long-term successor.
The Hoops go into the encounter in the capital three points ahead with 12 games to be played in the quest for the Parkhead club’s tenth title in 11 years after last season’s inexplicable stumble.
Callum McGregor and James Forrest, of course, have been over this ground countless times in the past decade or so, but it is a fresh test of character and nerves for the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Filipe Jota, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Matt O’Riley.
SILVER LINING…Callum McGregor with the newly-won Premier Sports League Cup, his fifteenth honour as a Celt.
Postecoglou, with the Premier Sports League Cup already in the trophy cabinet and a Scottish Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Tannadice on Monday March 14 to be addressed, said: “They haven’t been the kind of group who have got ahead of themselves.
“They understand we still have a long way to go as a team and the one thing they have shown through that is resilience.
“We have had plenty of excuses not to be in the position that we are at this point of year.
“But, as I keep saying, it’s a new group and a rebuild and there is a relentlessness around this club that you have to embrace.
“What’s happened in the past is not going to buy you grace if you fail in the next step. That’s just part of this club and that’s just what they have to get used to.
“Every week there is a challenge and every week there is an expectation. And there is nothing wrong with that. Just embrace it.”
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Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s only hard if you haven’t experienced it before or it’s a new experience.
“You can talk about it, but people forget there are a lot of guys who are young in terms of age and experience in this group.
“Until you live it, this is why I keep exposing these guys. It’s the only way they will embrace it and understand it. All of them have shown they want to do that, but it doesn’t stop.
“It doesn’t stop because last week was good or the week before was good, or they played well the game before or scored goals the game before.
“What’s important is what happens in the next game.”