Sacked manager left blown away by classy interaction with Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By John McGinley

March 3, 2022

Former Dundee manager James McPake has been speaking very fondly of Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, sharing the support he got from the Australian before he left Dens Park.

McPake was let go before being controversially replaced by Mark McGhee. It was a bitter blow to the former Hibernian man and his first real taste of disappointment as a manager.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland as a guest last night, a frustrated McPake explained he felt he could keep Dundee from relegation in the Premiership and also had very kind words for Postecoglou who gave him advice in a meeting between the two at Dens Park.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

McPake said Postecoglou gave up half an hour of his time to talk with him, giving the far less experienced coach some pointers that left him impressed and humbled.

Speaking on Sportsound [02/03, 19:25], the former Dundee man said: “I think, the 4-2 game at Dens, he must have spent about half an hour with me – which is rare nowadays with Covid because you don’t go into the offices.

“He spent a bit of time and he spoke… it was just a bit of guidance. But he just came across as a really good footballing man who had a lot of time, particularly for younger coaches.

“I can’t speak for anyone else but certainly myself and my staff at the time were very impressed by him. I went away and spoke to a lot of people about it. I’ll be honest, I felt very humbled.

“Celtic were flying at that time, he’s the Celtic manager and no disrespect to Dundee but I was the Dundee manager. He went out of his way to come and speak to me so I’ll be grateful for that and it shows the type of man he is. There aren’t enough in football that want to help you, in my opinion.”

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It’s great to hear that Postecoglou is making a positive impact on others around him in Scottish football away from Celtic. McPake had genuine admiration with his comments – it sounds like the Australian made a lasting impression.

McPake has a difficult road ahead as a manager after being dumped by Dundee but has proven he can get teams out of the Scottish Championship into the top-flight.

Perhaps he’ll be meeting with Postecoglou as an opponent again before too long. If not, the pair had a chat that has helped the former defender.

In other news, Report: Celtic interested in former Dutch youth international ahead of summer window.