ANGE POSTECOGLOU praised the character of his Celtic players as they came back from an early setback to claim a famous 2-1 triumph at Ibrox.

The win now pushes the Hoops six points ahead at the Premiership pinnacle with six games to play and they are now overwhelming favourites to clinch their tenth championship in 11 years after last season’s unexpected fall from grace.

Postecoglou watched his team roar back in defiance after conceding a third-minute goal to Aaron Ramsey with the elegant Tom Rogic nonchalantly knocking in a quickfire leveller after Allan McGregor had pushed away a drive from Reo Hatate.

DERBY DELIGHT…Ange Postecoglou talks to Celtic TV after the 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Cameron Carter-Vickers emphasised his worth to the side with a defensive performance that bordered on the heroic and the on-loan Spurs centre-back also had time to add his weight to the attack to claim the winning goal just before the turnaround.

There wasn’t a failure in the green and white hoops in Govan on an afternoon where everyone stood up to be counted. Callum McGregor delivered an inspirational display and his colleagues responded with an impressive relish.

Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis must have trod on every blade of grass on the Ibrox playing surface and, thankfully, there is a respite for the manager and his players before the visit of St Johnstone to the east end of Glasgow on Saturday afternoon.

A beaming Postecoglou enthused: “I’m really proud. I’m proud of the players and it was an enormous effort.

“The opposition had everything going in their favour – they scored early, the crowd was up and in those kind of situations, to turn it around like we did showed real character throughout the whole game. I thought it was outstanding.

HAPPY DAZE…Cameron Carter-Vickers races away in triumph after netting the winner.

GOVAN GLEE…Ange Postecoglou salutes the points-clinching goal.

“They’ve shown it from the start and I keep saying it to people that it’s probably the thing that’s undervalued about this group of players.

“There’s been no excuses along the way, we’ve just put our heads down and kept going. That character they’ve shown right throughout the year, we needed every bit of it on this occasion because it was a real derby game and I’m proud of their efforts.”

Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “We clawed our way back into the game after they got off to a bit of a flying start, but we were never going to settle for a point, we were never going to settle for a draw.

“We came here to win and we posed them some problems. We had some chances to further extend that lead.

“They put on some pressure, but I thought we dealt with it really well. They put a lot of crosses in the box and Joe made a couple of good saves, but I thought we handled it really well.

END GAME…Ange Postecoglou consoles Giovanni van Bronckhorst at the final whistle.

“You don’t come away from a game like this unless the players have shown every bit of the best of themselves.

“Sometimes it’s the football that’s the decider and we had our moments, but we had to show real character and courage and determination, led by an outstanding leader in Cal – I thought we handled it well.”

The Greek-Australian gaffer, who could emulate Martin O’Neill and Brendan Rodgers by winning the domestic treble in his first season in charge, also praised the small and vociferous band of Hoops supporters who were unstinting in their encouragement of the team.

Postecoglou added: “The 700 inside today were outstanding and they played their part and I’m super pleased to send them home happy.

“And I know there are millions at home who are just bouncing around at the moment and I couldn’t feel happier for them.”



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