ANGE POSTECOGLOU has revealed he was aware he HAD to win at least one trophy in his debut season as Celtic manager.

The Greek-Australian gaffer arrived in June to kick-start a massive squad rebuild following the team’s inexplicable fall from grace in the previous campaign.

The wreckage of Neil Lennon’s last season in charge saw the Northern Irishman depart on February 23 – two days after an unacceptable 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Ross County in Dingwall – with John Kennedy taking over in an interim capacity for the remaining 10 games of a wretched term.

The Hoops limped in without silverware for the first time in 11 years and Postecoglou answered the club’s SOS after three months of dithering from number one target Eddie Howe who had been out of work for over a year after leaving Bournemouth.

CELTIC VIEWS…Ange Postecoglou reveals all to his former international keeper Mark Schwarzer on Australian TV show.

Former chief executive Peter Lawwell, who was due to officially leave his post at the end of June, and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond decided to pull the plug and look elsewhere with the former Australia World Cup chief coming on their radar.

Postecoglou agreed a contract on June 10 – and an astonishing revamp began with TWELVE recruits arriving in a frantic summer while the likes of skipper Scott Brown, top scorer Odsonne Edouard and internationals Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie heading for the exit.

Only the most optimistic among the Celtic support believed the new man could turn around the fortunes of the team in such spectacular fashion.

Fifty-six-year-old Postecoglou delivered the Premier Sports League Cup in December, brought in five new players in the January transfer window, guided the side to the Premiership pinnacle with a three-point advantage with seven games to go while preparing for a Scottish Cup semi-final against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s outfit at Hampden on April 17.

The relentlessly-ambitious gaffer knew the challenges that lay ahead when he arrived last summer and admitted that a club such as Celtic “can’t go two years” without a trophy success.

POSTER BHOY…Celtic fans pay tribute to Ange Postecoglou.

Postecoglou said: “It’s been everything I expected. You don’t go into a role like this kidding yourself about what you’re taking on.

“I was under no illusion that I was taking over a massive football club, with a massive following and massive expectations.

“But it was what was appealing to me, that’s where I wanted to be.”

The popular team boss, speaking to former Australia international keeper Mark Schwarzer on Optus Sport, added: “I couldn’t do one of these AFL (Australian Football League) five-year plans where I walk in and say: ‘I’ll build a team in the next five years’.

“I knew that wouldn’t cut it and it shouldn’t at a club like this.

HAMPDEN HEROES…Ange Postecoglou is flanked by two-goal Kyogo Furuhashi and skipper Callum McGregor after the Premier Sports League Cup victory over Hibs on December 19.

“The reality of it is I had to come in this year and bring success to the football club.

“This football club can’t go two years without some sort of silverware.”

Next up for Postecoglou and his players is a trip across Glasgow to Ibrox for their Premiership meeting with their nearest challengers a week on Sunday.

A repeat of the form in their 3-0 triumph at Parkhead in February will see Celtic clear favourites to lift their tenth crown in 11 years.



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