Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou expertly sidesteps target trap

By John McGinley

February 4, 2023

Ange Postecoglou isn’t going to let Celtic get drawn into a points shoot-out with Brendan Rodgers’ record-breaking team, insisting he doesn’t set targets for his team.

This season’s Bhoys team still have a chance of surpassing the incredible 106 points total that Rodgers’ Invincibles side reached in 2016/17. It was a season like no other as the Bhoys also swept to a treble of trophies.

Clearly, as a natural by-product of wanting to win the remaining 14 games, Postecoglou would love to surpass that total. But he’s shutting down early comparisons and isn’t using them as a motivational tool for his team.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou dismisses Celtic points target

As quoted by The Scotsman, he said: “If I had set the target that we want to beat the team that Brendan had, then what if we’d beat it with two games to spare? Do the players think then, ‘Well we have done it?’

“It’s not the way I work. I never set those targets, I never set goals. Let’s just be the best we can be and see where that takes us. If it means we fall short of an Invincible team that Brendan created, then it won’t be for the want of trying.

“We are not settling on anything, we just want to be the best we can be. If we keep progressing the way we are, I think it will take us to a good space. We want to be successful and whatever comes of that, it will be off the back of us focusing on how we can be the best we can be.”

Celtic can’t afford to lose focus chasing numbers

Celtic can still make it to 109 points before the end of the season and are on course to hit the 70 mark tomorrow. But Postecoglou is a clever man and knows it’s silly to hype up achievements before they are complete.

Absolutely nothing has been tangibly won by the Bhoys this season and it would be madness to chase numbers while that remains the case. Postecoglou has enough experience to know how quickly things can change in football.

If the Celtic boss starts talking about making history, it would only make dropping points – which is very, very possible – seem more dramatic. If we draw or lose a match between now and the end of the season it would be far from a disaster beyond disappointment and frustration on the day.

There’s no need to extend the narrative surrounding his players beyond the quest for improvement.