Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has left club legend Pat Bonner impressed with his work thus far. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Following an extensive summer rebuild with no fewer than 11 arrivals through the door at Parkhead, Postecoglou has overcome several injury challenges and helped settle new players seamlessly into his new-look team.
The Australian continues to stamp his authority all over the club and within just 192 days of taking over the reins has already secured his first trophy as manager after beating Hibernian in the Premier Sports Cup Final.
Legendary Hoops goalkeeper Bonner has been impressed by Postecoglou’s impact in such a short space of time and reckons sealing his first piece of silverware will add confidence to his squad heading into the second half of the season.
Celtic will resume domestic action on January 17, six points adrift of leaders Rangers.
Bonner said: “I could be giving Ange probably an eight out of ten at the moment. From where they were to where they are, it’s remarkable.
“He’s got a great relationship with the support in a very short time, which is fairly unique as he’s only been in the door for six months.
“Considering the way the fans were at the end of last season, for someone to come in and make that happen over such a short period has been dramatic.
“Winning the first trophy is massive for any Celtic manager. If they hadn’t won it against Hibs, then it would have been a big disappointment.
“We’d then be saying ‘He’s doing OK but...’. However, once you get that first trophy in the cabinet you are still in touch and challenging in the league, the picture looks different.
“I think they have done really well with the manager. He also seems to be something of a father figure. He was talking about the young lad Joey Dawson after the game at St Johnstone and was talking about how the B team plays in the same way.
“That means he has a big influence throughout the club, which is a big thing to do when you consider where he’s come from and so on.”
Bonner has been amazed by the amount of work Postecoglou has placed on his own shoulders since arriving for Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos in June.
A drastic squad overhaul and the decision not to bring in any of his own backroom staff has surprised many onlookers, including Bonner who has witnessed more than most in his BBC punditry role the positive impact he is having on his players.
He added: “He seems to handle a lot of it himself, which I’ve found the biggest surprise for a lot of us.
“He’s taken an awful lot on his shoulders. He’s had to deal with everything and he’s done it. He has not complained about it and he’s just got on with it.
“Celtic are also playing good football, that’s the other point. It’s not as if they’re scraping through. They’re playing decent football.
“Yes, maybe there’s games that they could finish off better. The issue is always going to be the strikers if Kyogo Furuhashi isn’t fit.
“But I think the fans buy into the way the team are playing. They are on the front foot all the time. There’s not a game where it’s slow and ponderous.
“Even on the counter attack, you can see that as soon as the goalkeeper gets the ball he wants to start an attack. I think that suits the DNA of Celtic.
“The manager has fitted into that well and I think he’s made players even better. The likes of (Liam) Scales coming in has done really well.
“That’s a boy who’s come in from the League of Ireland and he looks like he can fit into the role the manager wants him to play. All of that is positive.”