"Touch of class"; James McPake details fascinating chats with Celtic boss

By David Walton

May 24, 2022

Former Dundee manager James McPake has detailed his fascinating chats with Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou during his time at Dens Park.

McPake and Postecoglou met on 2 occasions before the former was dismissed back in February. The Dark Blues were mauled 6-0 at Celtic Park in Ange’s first home league match of the season. Celtic then went to Dens in November and ran out comfortable 4-2 winners.

Dundee would eventually be relegated after sacking McPake and bringing in Mark McGhee. Their bruising defeats to the later-to-be-named champions certainly wouldn’t have helped their morale.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

But McPake has talked up the class of Ange as he tried to give the former Dundee man encouragement after each game. As quoted by the Celtic Way, McPake said: “We had a great chat when I visited Celtic Park with Dundee back in August. He is a nice man and he is a good guy. It was humbling the day as they beat us 6-0. Postecoglou pulled me aside and told me to forget this defeat and focus on my achievement of getting Dundee back into the Premiership and winning the Championship manager of the year award at such a young age.

“In the second game at Dens Park, when we lost 4-2 in November, I got a bit longer to chat with him as we were both waiting to do our respective press duties. He was interested in what Leigh Griffiths was up to and how he was doing. That started it off and it was the game before the international break so he asked me what we were going to do.

“That was really humbling for me as he was the Celtic manager and I was the Dundee manager but he was taking a genuine interest in a so-called lesser club and their manager. I was touched by that and we spoke for a good 25-30 minutes. He told me to keep going and keep learning and keep believing in what I was doing. He mentioned to me that I had changed my system a couple of times in the game just to get away with a 4-2 which he thought was good.

“It was great for me as a manager that he noticed things like that so we spoke about stuff like that. I heard that he did that with all young managers and it is just a touch of class. He is just an impressive man.”

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James McPake provides in-depth look at Ange Postecoglou’s class

This is the side of Ange that Celtic supporters don’t get to see. The behind the lens nature of the Hoops boss that goes unnoticed at times.

Had McPake never revealed these comments, then these moments of class from the Hoops boss would never see the light of day.

Not that Ange covets that kind of thing. You’re never given the impression with him that the spotlight and the good press is what he’s after. When he talks to a young coach about football it’s to help that young coach moving forward. It’s not something he has to do either.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange is the Celtic manager which means he will constantly have a million and one things on his mind. Yet he still seems to find time for classy touches like these. The kind of moments that will boost his reputation within the game and within Scottish football.

It’s clear he’s already made a big impression on McPake. He won’t be the only one either. Ange already has a fine reputation across Scotland for both his on-field and off-field traits.

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