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No stressing for Ange Postecoglou looking ahead to second half of his debut Celtic campaign

© ROBERT PERRY/EPA-EFE/ShutterstockCeltic boss Ange Postecoglou
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

Panic isn’t a word in Ange Postecoglou’s vocabulary.

The Celtic boss has that determined, but laid-back, demeanour that seems to be an integral part of Australian life.

Some will say his “no worries” attitude makes him the ideal man to take charge of an Old Firm team.

There’s certainly no sign of him wilting under the intense scrutiny that surrounds everything in Scottish football.

A few Celtic fans might panic if they go into the winter break trailing Rangers by six points or more, but Postecoglou won’t be joining them.

“I get it, that’s people’s reference point,” he said.

“But I can’t control that. All we can control is our own destiny.

“What we know is that if we continue with similar form to what we have shown over the last two-and-a-half months today, and into the second half of the year, then we will give ourselves a chance.

“I am not going to stress or worry about what I can’t control.

“I can’t control what other teams do, whether they are above us or below us.

“On a matchday, the only thing we can control are the games we play in.

“Our form over the last two-and-a-half months has been good.

“There’s no doubt we had a slow start to the season, which has meant that we are not in the ideal position, or where we wanted to be.

“But if we continue the way we have been, we will give ourselves an opportunity.”

Postecoglou will be doing everything he can to persuade Jota to commit long term to the Hoops (Pic: Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus/Shutterstock)

Postecoglou will spend most of January attempting to bolster his squad.

As well as bringing in fresh faces, there are discussions to be had with players currently on loan at Parkhead.

There’s little doubt the Hoops will be doing their best to persuade Portuguese attacker, Jota, to commit his future to the club.

Another player who could have a long-term part to play is American defender, Cameron Carter-Vickers.

He arrived in Glasgow from Spurs on deadline day in Augus, and Postecoglou admits it was a move that almost didn’t happen.

“It was close because there were a few moving parts,” said Postecoglou.

“There were some players we needed to move on at the time.

“People forget that Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie didn’t leave until late on.

“Thankfully for us, we were able to get Cameron over the line at the last minute.

“It was a bit of a leap of faith for him because he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it.

“But I’m sure he would say now that it has been a great move for him, and it’s been a great move for the club.

“He has become an important part of our team, and that’s why I was so keen to bring him in.

“Even though he is a young guy, you just have to look at his playing experience.

“He has had three solid years playing in the Championship, and playing at good, strong clubs.

“The Championship in England is a really tough competition. You don’t get through that without having some real quality in you.”

The Celtic boss hopes the 23-year-old will stay beyond his season-long loan.

He added: “I wouldn’t have brought him in if I thought it was just a short-term thing.

“All the players we have brought in, we have done so with some thought around building a team.

“Building a team means more than just 12 months. But a lot of that depends on the player himself.

“Those discussions will happen over the next couple of months.”

Cameron Carter-Vickers gets to grips with Kevin Nisbet in last Sunday’s League Cup Final (Pic: Alan Rennie/Action Plus/Shutterstock)

It looks like Postecoglou will have to go with the same players who drew with St Mirren for today’s match against St Johnstone in Perth.

The lengthy injury list should have lessened considerably when Celtic play their next scheduled game – at home to Hibs on January 17.

Postecoglou is a relaxed fellow, but he won’t get time to do much relaxing during the upcoming lay-off.

He smiles at the suggestion he might be taking a breather.

“It will involve trying to get new players in, assessing the staff, assessing the squad and seeing whether we move people in and out,” he said.

“We also need to make sure we have the right training schedule.

“So a great breather, mate!

“We are under no illusions. Assuming we want to have this schedule – where we are involved in so many competitions – if there is one thing the first half of the season has shown us, it’s that we need a stronger squad.

“It was never going to happen after one window.

“If anyone thought we were going to have a squad robust enough – and with the quality to tackle what we want to tackle – in one window, then they were kidding themselves.”