Ange Postecoglou outlines his high pre-season expectations ahead of Celtic return

By Lewis Laird

June 22, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has outlined what he is expecting from his squad ahead of their return for pre-season this summer.

Off the back of a successful campaign, which saw the Bhoys lift a league and cup double, the squad split their separate ways to enjoy the international break and some well-earned time off. However, with the new season fast approaching, players will be making their return to Lennoxtown for the beginning of pre-season at the start of next week.

This summer will provide Ange Postecoglou with some time to work with his squad before the 2022/23 campaign gets underway. For much of this squad, it will also be their first opportunity of a pre-season under the 56-year-old, having arrived at different stages of the campaign last year.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ahead of their return next week, Postecoglou has set down an early marker of what he is expecting from his players when they meet up for training. Speaking in an interview on Luke Darcy’s Empowering Leaders podcast, Ange said [1:07:10 – 1:08:50]: “They (the players) won’t be expecting me to come in and say, ‘look, we’re going to do what we did last year’ because that will go against everything that I’ve been talking about.

“That would be risk-averse, that would be saying, ‘well, you know, we’ve got a successful formula; let’s roll it out again’. But I know that’s not how sport works because every year, if you’re part of the chasing pack, you’re trying to hunt somebody down. You have to be better than the person that is ahead of you.

“If you are ahead of the pack, you’ve got to be better than you were last year because the one thing you know is whatever marker you have set down, it’s the people who were chasing you, they are going to go surpass that marker you’ve laid down as that is their objective. So, we have got to be further ahead. That’s only going to happen if, on the first day of pre-season, the guys come in and go, ‘okay, well, we’ve gone up a level again’. In terms of our environment, intensity, tempo in how we are going to approach things, how we’re going to play, how we’re going to work.

“For me, that’s the exciting bit, is there is now that expectation in the group. We, as coaches, and myself as a leader, has to deliver that and match their expectations of wanting more, wanting to go further down this path of trying to achieve being something special. Maybe last year, the whole fact that I was underestimated when I came in worked in my favour. But I think this year, people will say, ‘we know who he is now, and we’re not going to underestimate him, and we know what he can deliver’.”

Ange Postecoglou’s high standard will take Celtic to a new level next season.

After an incredible first season under Postecoglou, the Celtic support has become well aware of the high standards he holds.

It appears that was only the beginning, and the Celtic manager is looking to take that even further going into pre-season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That can only bode well for this Celtic side as they prepare for another potentially chaotic season involving Champions League group stage football for the first time since 2017.

The Celtic boss will be keen to see his side showcase their quality on one of the biggest stages of them all in Europe, and the hard work towards that reward gets underway in less than seven days when the players head back to the training ground.

I personally cannot wait for the season ahead!

In other news, Celtic set to face Rapid Vienna as one of unknown pre-season opponents is revealed.