ANGE POSTECOGLOU had no hesitation in endorsing the merits of Brendan Rodgers as the Irishman continues his preparation for his second stint as Celtic manager.
Asked about the qualities of his successor as he returns to the job after an absence of over four years, the Greek-Australian gaffer said: “He’s absolutely the right man, mate.
“He’s a fantastic manager and he loves that football club.”
Postecoglou was meeting the English media for the first time since leaving the Hoops 48 hours after the June 3 Scottish Cup Final victory that sealed the world record eighth treble.
SEEING DOUBLE TREBLE…Brendan Rodgers (above) and Ange Postecoglou pose with the domestic clean sweep with the Premiership title flanked by the League Cup and Scottish Cup. The Irishman achieved the feat twice and the Greek-Australian once in his second and last season as Celtic manager.
His hasty departure after only two years and five domestic trophies to Spurs opened the door for a comeback for Rodgers who originally left Parkhead in February 2019 after winning seven consecutive honours in over two and a half years in the Hoops hot seat.
He became available again when he exited doomed Leicester City in April and scrapped the idea of a 12-month sabbatical away from football when the Celtic hierarchy came calling.
Rodgers has signed a three-year contract with the champions and has vowed to see it through – unless, of course, his employers think otherwise.
Postecoglou has backed the former Liverpool manager to pick up where he left off first time around.
Continuing to discuss the merits of Rodgers, the 57-year-old one-time Aussie World Cup head coach said: “He was constantly messaging me while I was Celtic manager to make sure that I stayed on track and we had success.
“I’ve exchanged messages with him and he was very, very supportive when I got the [Celtic] role.
“Even when I got this role, he sent me a nice message and I reciprocated and stayed in contact with him and all the staff there. I’ve no doubt they’ll have great success.
BACK IN THE OLD ROUTINE…Brendan Rodgers and assistant John Kennedy reunited at Lennoxtown.
“Hopefully, they can make an impact in the Champions League, I know that’s what his ambition is. That group of players and staff certainly have the capability to do that.”
Reflecting on his decision to quit the Hoops, Postecoglou, as reported in the Daily Record, added: “It required soul searching to leave. My wife and my kids loved it up there and my whole family was really happy.
“I’ve got two young ones and they’ve lived abroad their whole life in four different countries. We made the decision as a family that wherever my profession took us, we’d go and we’d experience that.
“My wife knows better than anyone, I can’t resist a challenge. That’s when I’m at my best and my history is I’ve never stayed too long at too many clubs.
“I’ve always left when clubs are successful. All I’ve tried to do whenever I’ve been, like most managers, is leave the club you’ve inherited in a better place than where you picked it up and hopefully make a positive impact.
“It was a tough decision, for sure. But it was also a tough decision to leave the Australian national team before a World Cup, it was tough to leave Yokohama after winning the championship there.
TWO FOR THE ROAD…Ange Postecoglou and Filipe Jota in their last Celtic appearances after the 3-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Inverness Caley Thistle on June 3 at Hampden.
“You establish relationships with people and these are always tough decisions. For me, I’ve always gone with my gut on these things.
“I know when I’m at my best, and I’m at my best when the challenge is the biggest.
“I thought this was a challenge that would fit all the things I’m looking to achieve.”
Postecoglou will kick off his Spurs Premier League career with a match at Brentford on Sunday August 12 at 2pm – two hours after Rodgers has led Celtic into action against Aberdeen at Pittodrie in the title kings’ second match of the campaign.
The Irishman’s competitive return to the east end of Glasgow will be against Ross County on Flag Day on Saturday August 5 with a 12.30pm start.