AUSTRALIAN international Ryan McGowan has labelled Ange Postecoglou “so scary” after his experiences with the Celtic boss while he was in charge of the Socceroos.
The St Johnstone defender, who has 21 caps for his country, was selected by the 57-year-old Greek-Australian for the Aussies’ World Cup squad for the soccer showpiece in Brazil in 2014.
McGowan, who has also played for Hearts and Dundee United, recalled an incident with Postecoglou on a long-haul flight.
The 33-year-old Adelaide-born full-back said: “He’s the best coach I have worked with, but possibly the WORST man-manager I have ever had.
MAKING A POINT…Ange Postecoglou gestures while manager of Australia.
“He is so distant, so scary, and you are petrified of him. I still am. He would say certain things and have certain rules that were just non-negotiable of what to do and as an average player I quite liked that.
“You would then just do it as best you could. He would keep his distance and there’s the story of us flying from Sydney to Dubai. I had been up to a bit of mischief with the senior boys which I now seriously regret.
“We used to put our coffees on the senior boys’ rooms as they could afford it. I didn’t know they could pick the flight seats. Mine was 1A, business class.
“Then the next thing, Ange is sitting right next to me. It’s 16 hours and you are sweating, so nervous.
“He didn’t speak to me once, not even: ‘How are you?’. He then just got up and left when we got there!
“He did a podcast a couple months ago and he said he loved doing it to freak the boys out.
“That was the worst 16 hours of my life.”
SAINTS AND WINNERS…Ryan McGowan is left in James Forrest’s slipstream during Celtic’s 2-1 victory over St Johnstone in Perth in October.
McGowan, speaking to the BBC’s Sacked in the Morning show, added: “He was a good motivator, that was one of his strengths.
“He was quite big on us Aussies and how hard it for us to make it into Europe and make a career professionally as in Australia it’s not the number one sport.
“It is difficult for us to play overseas and when we were playing Chile or someone, he would give us the odds for that game.
“I think we were say 8/1. He said: ‘That’s pretty high odds for us, isn’t it?’ He asked: ‘Ryan, what would your odds be to play in a World Cup when you were five?’
“I just thought of the highest number I could think of. He went round the team and said we were here, so we defeated those odds, so what’s the difference with an 8/1 shot?
“His team talks got everyone going.”
McGowan will get the opportunity to cross swords again with his former international chief when the Perth Saints travel to Parkhead to face Postecoglou’s champions on Christmas Eve with a 12.30pm kick-off.