Ange Postecoglou knows all about the expectation at Celtic
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes his players have become conditioned to the constant demands for success.
Captain Callum McGregor lifted the cinch Premiership trophy on Saturday after a 5-0 win over Aberdeen rounded off a season in which Celtic collected 99 points and scored a post-war club-record 114 league goals.
Postecoglou has now claimed four of five domestic trophies available since arriving from Japan in the summer of 2021 and he can follow in the footsteps of Jock Stein, Martin O’Neill, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon by clinching the treble with Scottish Cup victory over Inverness on Saturday.
“From the moment I arrived, I think I have said many times, coming off a trophyless season, we could not go another year without winning something,” he said.
“From the first day I arrived, irrespective of what happened at the start of the season, I made it clear to the boys that expectation is always there.
“That will never change. Whether you are winning or not winning, expectation at this football club is you have success every year.
“I think the players have become conditioned to that. They train like that every day, they behave like that. Callum is pushing them like that every day. You can’t have an off day. You can’t have an off season.”
Postecoglou is already thinking about how he can improve Celtic next season.
“You can’t stand still in this game,” he said. “It changes very quickly. It’s fine margins between having success again and not being successful.
“And more than that, this team’s going to improve. Most of the key players in this team, you can see them improving.
“All the the ones who joined last year have had better years this year than last year, and the ones who stayed, Callum and Greg Taylor and Tony Ralston, all those guys, have all come on, and had better years this year.
“That tells me there’s more improvement. There has to be.”
Aberdeen manager Barry Robson will try to make sure his side compete better with Celtic next season but he sensed Saturday’s game would be difficult given the occasion and the fact his side had achieved their goal of finishing third in the league three days earlier.
Robson, whose side will be guaranteed European group stage football if Celtic win the cup, said: “We’re going to try our best in every department and be as good as we can possibly be.
“We know the differences in finance between teams in the league.
“I’ve played for teams challenging the Old Firm and I’ve played for the Old Firm myself, so I know how difficult it is.
“But we need to be as good an Aberdeen team as we can be, which we’ve done, and also perform well in Europe.
“We need Celtic to do us a turn at Hampden next week.
“That wasn’t our fight. Our fight was getting to third. But we want to make it a fight.”