Iconic former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill praises Ange Postecoglou for ‘sticking to his beliefs’, while Hoops offload misfit defender
O’Neill has given his full backing to the Australian after overcoming a difficult start at Parkhead
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The Australian has overseen an extensive squad overhaul, bagged his first piece of silverware as Hoops boss in December and guided his new-look side to the top of the Premiership table within the space of seven months.
It has been a remarkable turnaround given the position Celtic were in at the end of last season’s disastrous campaign, which saw their ten-in-a-row hopes ended by a dominant Rangers.
Iconic ex-Hoops manager O’Neill, who won seven trophies during his time in charge between 2000-2005, has been impressed by Postecoglou’s perseverance following an unsettled start to the season.
Asked for his opinion on Postecoglou’s impact in an interview with PA, O’Neill said: “Very good indeed, excellent. From a stodgy start, domestically it’s been really good.
“Looking in from a distance, it seemed a big rebuild was required. It was important that some of the good players stayed on, like Calum McGregor, and some of the players he has brought in have done wonderfully well.
“Sticking to your beliefs as a manager is important. That’s where Ange gains a great deal of respect for me because he stuck with it and believed in it.
“At the start, when results weren’t really there, you start to think maybe he needs to go with a different emphasis or a change of direction, but no, he stuck to his beliefs and it’s bearing fruit domestically.
“It can be very difficult to do that when results are not going so well, so well done to Ange.”
Celtic moved three points clear in the title race on Sunday after Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw against Dundee United, but O’Neill believes the Light Blues stunning Europa League win over Dortmund was a sign of their quality.
He added: “It was a big win for Celtic on Sunday after Rangers couldn’t get the win against Dundee United.
“There’s a long way to go yet, but they’ve got the three-point lead and the better goal difference. I’m quite sure Rangers will not give it up easily.
“Having done so brilliantly against Dortmund, they will still feel as if they’ve got a real chance.”
Meanwhile, Celtic have opened talks with Russian outfit FC Ufa over a potential deal for controversial misfit Boli Bolingoli.
The defender was severely criticised for travelling to Spain on holiday during the height of the Covid pandemic restrictions without notifying the club.
His actions caused First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon to call for the postponement of Celtic’s next two game and, as a result, the 26-year-old was frozen out and sent on loan to Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.
However, the Hoops will finally offload Bolingoli on loan initially with a view to making the move permanent in the summer.
Bolingoli arrived at Celtic on a four-year-deal from Rapid Vienna in 2019, but has failed to impressed and made just two appearances under Ange Postecoglou.