ARCH critic Charlie Nicholas admits he is now “a fully paid-up member of the Ange Postecoglou fan club”.
The former Celtic striker, who had two spells at the Hoops, was far from impressed by his old club at the start of the campaign and claimed they were in “meltdown” after the 1-1 draw with Dundee United in Glasgow last month.
However, Nicholas, who returned to Parkhead as a fan for the first time since Postecoglou’s appointment to witness the 2-0 win over St Johnstone at the weekend, is now convinced the Greek-Australian has the team motoring after a stutter that saw them lose three league games at Tynecastle, Ibrox and Livingston.
MAN ON A MISSION…Ange Postecoglou celebrates another win at Parkhead.
The 59-year-old media pundit is now backing the club to push all the way in the race for the title as they aim for their tenth championship in 11 years after last term’s inexplicable failure.
Nicholas admitted: “I was back in the Parkhead stands on Saturday with two of my brothers-in-law. It was my first time in a while after TV commitments and everything else. I have always wanted to get back to the games with all the changes that have happened at Celtic.
“The team is definitely heading in the right direction and I am a fully paid-up supporter of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic.
“I had always said it would be October or November before we can really judge Ange.
NUMBER ONE…Giorgos Giakoumakis opens his Celtic account with the opener against St Johnstone.
CROWD-PLEASER…Giakoumakis is congratulated by Tom Rogic and Filipe Jota after his strike.
“I know Ange suggests he only has a Plan A, but I do think he has other options in his head. I wanted to see his team for myself and how he is trying to piece all these new signings together.”
Nicholas, speaking in the Daily Express, continued: “I really do think Celtic can squeeze Rangers all the way in this Premiership race.
“I still think that Rangers are favourites, but I like what the new Celtic boss is building.
“Rangers are ahead in the table and they also have key players coming back. They are more solid and because of that they have the advantage over Celtic.
“But I can definitely see this Celtic team clicking and challenging Rangers. I saw that first-hand at the weekend.”
NUMBER TWO…Josip Juranovic prepares to slot away the penalty-kick for the clinching goal.
CHEERS…Josip Juranovic celebrates after his excellent penalty-kick.
The former Hoops followers’ favourite added: “Jota is capturing the imagination just now, but Kyogo Furuhashi is the key, even though he played on the right on this occasion.
“He never got into the game, but he is better more centrally.
“Liel Abada started well at Celtic, but has tailed away, Tom Rogic has come back into form and Giorgos Giakoumakis’s first steps look encouraging. A lot of the players aren’t going to fit into Ange’s system, but there is still a lot of encouragement there for me.
“Also, being amongst the fans, you can see there is a general abundance of patience for what the manager is trying to build.
“You can see they like it and are prepared to stick by him.
“Ange has built up a respect that will buy him time.”