ANGE POSTECOGLOU reckons some media critics have been “condescending” since he was named Celtic manager in June.
The Greek-Australian gaffer is preparing his squad for the Europa League Group G encounter with Bayer Leverkusen at Parkhead tomorrow night where he knows a win is imperative after losing 4-3 to Real Betis in Seville in the opening game two weeks ago.
There is also pressure on the domestic front with the team drawing 1-1 with Dundee United in Glasgow at the weekend as they dropped their eleventh point out of a possible 21 in seven matches. The Hoops are now six points off the pace in sixth place.
Their next Premiership challenge comes on Sunday against Scott Brown and his Aberdeen team-mates in the High Noon showdown at Pittodrie.
MAN ON A MISSION…Ange Postecoglou insists he will not change his style.
However, as Portuguese winger Filipe Jota has already stated: “Last time I checked there are no champions in September” – so no-one is pressing any panic buttons, as CQN reported.
Former Australia international boss Postecoglou said: “To be honest, the only thing I don’t like is the condescending nature of the questions.
“That somehow I don’t understand that if we don’t win games of football, I don’t understand the magnitude of the football club, that somehow I am in charge of this rebuild and I have no idea of what the ramifications are if I don’t get it right.
“Maybe that is the intent, maybe people just want to be condescending, that’s up to them.
“In terms of pressure, criticism or scrutiny, that is fair enough, that is what people who are passionate about the game will do when they analyse the team and I have no issues with that.
“In terms of calling it (the title) early, I see no reason why you would declare someone a champion in September when you have more than 30 games to go.
“It is not a frustration. If the intent is to be condescending towards me and who I am in my career then I guess they are achieving their point.”
THE THINKER…Ange Postecoglou during training at Lennoxtown. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
Fifty-six-year-old Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports News, continued: “I guess my point about all that is I am not going to change my approach because people keep talking about the fact that there is pressure and it is Celtic.
“I’m not living in some bubble that I don’t realise that if it doesn’t go well, the responsibility won’t lie with me. I understand that.
“It’s not all. Some people have been fair with their criticism and scrutiny, but some people just want to be condescending towards me, they have been from day one, they probably don’t think I deserve to be in this spot and that’s fine. That’s neither here nor there for me.”
James McCarthy has overcome the knock that saw him miss the second-half of the game against the Tannadice outfit, but Croatia defender Josip Juranovic will be out for at least two weeks with a hamstring injury.
ROARING BACK…Callum McGregor may get some game time against Bayer Leverkusen.
Captain Callum McGregor, top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi and Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, still waiting to make his first appearance, all trained today as they attempt to recover from their various injuries.
Although there is “zero possibility” of any of the trio starting against the Bundesliga giants. Asked if there was a possibility of game time tomorrow, Postecoglou answered: “Yes, there is, but I have to be careful. See how they feel.
“I am keen to get them some game time before the international break.”
Looking forward to the visit of the team currently second in the German top flight, Postecoglou added: “We want to take it to them and they will certainly take it to us, we are going to get tested and, hopefully, it is a great game of football for our supporters to get excited about.
“Hopefully, we play our part in that.”