ANGE POSTECOGLOU has warned his Celtic players not to get too comfortable.
If they relax in their efforts to bring success and silverware to the club, the manager has promised: “I will sign another player to play in their position to make sure they are at their absolute best.”
Postecoglou is preparing his squad for tomorrow night’s Scottish Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Tannadice, a venue where they enjoyed a 3-0 victory in the Premiership in December.
The Greek-Australian gaffer has been able to rotate his player pool with the arrival of five players in the January transfer window to add to the dozen recruits in the summer.
Even without the services of Kyogo Furuhashi and David Turnbull for 2022, Postecoglou has been in a position where he can rest some performers and have quality back-up all over the pitch.
Postecoglou was forced to utilise wingers Filipe Jota and Liel Abada in the main striking role earlier this season when the Japanese striker and Giorgos Giakoumakis were both out injured.
Now he has the luxury of a fully-fit Greek hitman plus Hogmanay signing from the J-League Daizen Maeda to lead the attack.
Asked about keeping players happy, he said: “How do you define happiness? I’ve never worried about players being happy.
“I assume players get their happiness from winning things and being part of something successful.
“I don’t expect them to be walking around with smiles on their faces and singing if they are not playing.
“I want them to be disappointed and determined to break in, as long as they don’t use that in a negative way.
“At the moment, training is competitive and at a great level because the players want to play and be a part of it – they don’t want to miss out.
“They are disappointed if they’re not playing, but what they do with that disappointment is come back the next day and show me they’re ready to go should they get called up.
“That’s the important thing. If a player isn’t happy with their situation here, they have choices they can make.
“But they should always understand that you can go to another club, play every week and never win anything.
“If you want to be at a big club and fight for trophies every year, then you have to be prepared to be competing for your spot every week.”
Postecoglou, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “There won’t be a moment while I’m here that any player will feel comfortable.
“If they’re comfortable, I will sign another player to play in their position to make sure they are at their absolute best.
“That’s my role – to keep pushing them to be the best they can be.”