STRAIGHT-TALKING Ange Postecoglou admits he will not be “swinging from the chandeliers” if Celtic beat FC Midtjylland this evening.
The Hoops boss clearly has no intention of going over the top in his personal celebrations if the team can overcome the Danes and reach the Champions League third round qualifier where they will almost certainly meet PSV Eindhoven, 5-1 ahead after their first leg against Galatasaray.
Last week at Parkhead, Postecoglou witnessed new Bhoy Liel Abada score on his debut, Nir Bitton get foolishly red-carded just before the interval and Vasilis Barkas present the visitors with the equaliser in the second-half.
The team now face an uphill struggle to turn things around to make progress that, at the very least, will open the door to the Europa League.
BAWL BHOY…Ange Postecoglou shouts out some orders.
Asked if this was a major opening for him to build momentum in his new job after arriving in Scotland just over a month ago, Postecoglou answered: “I don’t really think in those terms about myself. It’s all a bit different now. I’m [almost]56 and have figured out what’s important in life.
“My role is to try to prepare the blokes going out there and I genuinely get excited every time the team plays and every time we get an opportunity to play good football, whether that’s Champions League or whatever the game may be.
“I’m looking forward to that, but if people are expecting me to be sort of swinging from the chandeliers because we win a game, it’s just not in my nature.
“I feel lucky every day with what I do and opportunities like this are why I love the game.”
Postecoglou, who, for the record, will celebrate his 56th birthday on August 27, may be forced to go with the rookie defensive double-act of Stephen Welsh and Dane Murray, with a total age of 39, but he is excited at the prospect of his players seizing the day.
The former Australia international gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “That is something people haven’t highlighted as much.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS…Dane Murray could make his first competitive start in Denmark.
“We are in a state of transition and we’ve thrown young kids in and some inexperienced players are getting opportunities, but what a tremendous opportunity.
“You can’t pick and choose when to make a debut or when your career starts.
“If you can perform on the biggest of stages when that opportunity arises – and this is a fantastic one – why not take it and create something memorable?
“You can always grasp for excuses and reasons why you can’t do something, but there’s an opportunity to do something special and it falls on the players who are available. There’s no reason why they can’t take that.
“You talk to any footballer who has had a great career and ask them about their debut and I guarantee with every single one of them it wasn’t planned or programmed. It just fell upon them.
“What the ones who have great careers do is take that opportunity, irrespective of what the venue is or the circumstances of the game.
“Obviously, we’ve got some young players and there’s no better way for them to stamp their mark on this club or for their careers to perform in a big game like that.
“I’m excited for them as what they probably all dreamed about when they were 10 years old was to play for Celtic in a big Champions League game. You are also anxious as you want to give them the best possible preparation for it and that falls on me more than them.
“But I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform and I have no doubts they will acquit themselves well.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from FC Midtjylland v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.