TITLE FEVER: ‘BRILLIANT’, THE 29-POINT TURNAROUND

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ANGE POSTECOGLOU took over a struggling Celtic team that had completed their first trophyless campaign in 11 seasons.

The Greek-Australian boss was named as Neil Lennon’s successor in the summer of 2021 – and within a year he had transformed the club from being also-rans to runaway champions.

Plus he threw in the League Cup for good measure with his new-look team with the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Filipe Jota, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Josip Juranovic, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Liel Abada, Joe Hart and others contributing to the astonishing 29-pont turnaround.

Postecoglou celebrated the first of his two title triumphs on this day on May 14 2022 when theĀ curtain came down on an extraordinary crusade with a 6-0 romp against Motherwell in a sell-out Parkhead as the Hoops claimed their tenth flag in 11 years.

TICKER-TAPE RECEPTION…Ange Postecoglou waves to the fans before Celtic’s 6-0 rout of Motherwell in the final game of a remarkable 2021/22 season.

The team had limped home the previous year a disturbingĀ 25 points adrift after a disastrous term, but the former Aussie international chief fashioned the side into a relentless machine that ended four points ahead of their nearest challengers.

Postecoglou was under mounting pressure when he saw his team crash in three of their first six Premiership fixtures, but the defeat against Livingston in West Lothian on September 19 2021 was their last reverse as they powered through their remaining 32 league fixtures without loss.

The charismatic 56-year-old gaffer looked around a bouncing Parkhead following the six-goal victory over Well – with Kyogo (2), Giakoumakis (2), David Turnbull and Jota on target – and vowed to be ready to take on Europe’s elite in the Champions League.

Postecoglou said: “It is brilliant. There were plenty of motivations to win the title this year, not least that we obviously didn’t win it last year.

“Knowing potentially that the extra carrot was there was a massive motivator.

“I felt it was a great way for us to accelerate our growth as a football club with us being involved at that level and getting exposed to that level- our players, our team, our football club, that is the level we want to be at every year.”

JUST CHAMPION…Ange Postecoglou with the Premiership silverware at Parkhead on May 14 2022.

Postecoglou added: “We all know the qualifying process is not straightforward.

“It affects your pre-season, it affects the time off players have, there are all these ramifications. It affects your recruiting because you just don’t know, are you recruiting for the Champions League or are you not?

“So all those kinds of things, we can now work with a lot more certainty this off-season and give the players a break, have a really good pre-season and identify the players we want knowing we are going to be playing in the Champions League.

“It is going to be exciting. Celtic Park, Champions League, brilliant.”

Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton bade final farewells in front of the fans in an emotional afternoon.

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