Scottish Premiership

Postecoglou’s star rises after Celtic title triumph

Champions: Celtic (pic: SNS Group)

Dundee United 1 Celtic 1
Tannadice Park

Ange Postecoglou’s reputation stepped up another gear after Celtic secured their 10th league title in 11 years and look forward to the lucrative group stages of the Champions League next season.

The Glasgow side’s 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice saw the league trophy return to Parkhead after an impressive 31-match unbeaten run in the Premiership ended Rangers’ brief reign as champions.

The club’s 52nd league triumph represents a remarkable achievement for head coach Postecoglou, who took over a Hoops side on its knees last summer after blowing their attempt at 10-in-a-row under Neil Lennon and finishing trophy-less for the first time since 2009/10.

Three defeats in his first six league games in charge gave little indication of the success which lay ahead but the Australian masterminded a stunning recovery which ended in an emotional night in Dundee.

“It’s hard for me to comprehend. I’ve had this lifelong dream to manage a world-famous club, trying to make an impact,” said the Celtic manager, whose side trailed leaders Rangers by six points on Boxing Day.

“I’m in this spot now of achieving something I’ve always wanted to achieve. I guess it’s a weird kind of feeling for me. Fair to say it’s overwhelming – I’m just really proud of the players and staff.

“We started so far back in terms of starting point so to end up where we are is an unbelievable achievement. The club had a difficult year without success. I knew this year would be a pretty important year.

“As much as steadying the ship we had to put down a marker for the fans and make an impact. The fact we’ve ended up champions is pretty amazing.”

Postecoglou, who won the Scottish League Cup earlier in the campaign, added: “It feels like two seasons in one. We’ve jammed in a rebuild season and season of success. I came with the best intentions, I’m a pretty ambitious guy but I knew it would be a tough ask because I knew our starting point and the opposition.

“After round seven you look where we were and now to be 31 games undefeated has been unbelievable.

“I wanted the players to enjoy it. It’s not easy to do what they’ve done.”

The point secured European football for United for the first time in 10 years, while at the other end of the table, St Johnstone’s win over Aberdeen in Perth consigned Dundee to relegation, with the Saints facing a play-off against either Arbroath or Inverness Caledonian Thistle to retain their top-flight status.

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