KRIS COMMONS reckons the Ibrox club must “rue the day” Ange Postecoglou took over as Celtic boss.

And the former Hoops midfielder paid tribute to his old side’s “extraordinary manager” as they sealed a place in the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden on Saturday June 3.

A headed goal from Filipe Jota was enough to guide the Parkhead men through the semi-final minefield to push them closer to a domestic clean sweep in a thoroughly memorable campaign.

Michael Beale has faced Postecoglou four times this year and lost three – inluding February’s League Cup Final – and drawn the other.

JOY BHOY…Ange Postecoglou celebrates with the Celtic fans at full-time.

The 57-year-old Greek-Australian gaffer inherited a shambles when he agreed to become Neil Lennon’s successor in June 2021.

The fallen champions had limped in a perplexing 25 points off the pace in their quest for a historic tenth consecutive championship and failed to make an impact in their defence of the other two domestic trophies.

Postecoglou piloted the new-look Hoops to the crown and the League Cup in his debut campaign and is now on the brink of a phenomenal treble.

The Parkhead club can claim their second successive flag if they beat Hearts at Tynecstle on Sunday with four league games still to pay.

One-time Hoops fans’ favourite and Scotland international Commons said: “I don’t think there’s any chance of Celtic underestimating Inverness in the Final.

ROARING SUCCESS…Ange Postecoglou yells instructions while Michael Beale looks on at Hampden.

“It’s just not their style under this extraordinary manager. He’s done the most incredible job.

“To think he was a relative unknown who had a difficult start to life in Glasgow, didn’t bring any coaches with him and took over at the time when an icon like Scott Brown was moving on.

“He’s now in line to become just the fifth manager in Celtic’s history to win the treble.

“He’s brought the club to that point by completing overhauling the squad and changing its mentality. Rangers must now rue the day he walked into town.”

Commons, writing in his Daily Mail column, added: “Let’s get this straight. Celtic were some way off the pace here. Callum McGregor didn’t set the tempo the way he normally does, Kyogo Furuhashi only really sniffed out one opportunity and both Daizen Maeda and Jota have been better.

“You might say that Postecoglou’s men were in third gear yet still won. Again. For all they enjoyed a lot of the ball, Rangers only forced Joe Hart into a couple of meaningful saves.

“Celtic have rightly been lavished with praise for the devastating football they can play at times, but yesterday demonstrated that there’s an extraordinary mental toughness to them, too.

BLUE HEAVEN…Filipe Jota celebrates the winner in front of the Ibrox support.

“Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt were absolutely immense. If one wasn’t getting their head or their foot on a cross, the other one was. It’s become quite the partnership.

“You could not speak highly enough about the contribution of all of Celtic’s defenders. Greg Taylor ensured James Tavernier resorted to pitching long crosses into the box all afternoon.

“Alistair Johnston simply dominated Kent from the word go. And when the Canadian went off, Anthony Ralston just did all that was asked of him.

“Having lost out in extra-time to Rangers at this stage last year, even a perfectionist like Postecoglou will just be happy that his side have made it through to the final.

“Neil Lennon used to always tell us that semi-finals were the most difficult games to navigate. They are rarely ones for the purist. All that truly counts is that you get through.”


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