Ange Postecoglu has said Celtic will travel to Pittodrie expecting Aberdeen to be “at their best” – despite Stephen Glass’ men having not picked up a league victory so far this year.
The league leaders take on the Dons a point ahead of Glasgow rivals Rangers, who play Hibernian at Ibrox, on Wednesday evening.
Speaking ahead of the clash in Scotland’s North-East, the Celtic manager acknowledged the quality in the Aberdeen side as his team looks to extend their lead at the top.
“If they’re on a good run, I wouldn’t be feeling any calmer about things,” he said.
“What you do know is they’ve got some really good players, I mean they’re a good quality squad.
“You see them against Rangers a few weeks back and they looked a strong outfit.
“So, you’re kind of going there expecting them to be at their best and at their best they’re a tough opponent, particularly on their home ground.
“So, the lack of form or the lack of results over recent times I think is more of an issue for them than us.
“What we’ve got to do is make sure we expect for them to be at their best and at their best, as I said, they can trouble anyone.”
The Celtic manager outlined the importance having people believe in him, as he explained that he has not yet delivered what he wants to the Parkhead club.
He said: “I don’t think it’s about proving myself to people, I think what I’ve said is that I need people to believe in me because I’ve got a massive responsibility.
“I’m not just a manager of a football club, I’m a manager of everything that football club embodies and this is a club that’s had really strong values, really strong identity, a lot of success since 1888.
“So, it was important for me that the people who are truly invested in this club, and that is the supporters, believed in me as a person more than anything else.”
He continued: “We’ve all been around long enough to know that there’s no guarantee of success, there’s no sort of way you can go out there and say, ‘listen, we’re definitely going to create something special’.
“But I think when people believe in you as a person, then you’re more likely to get understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and for me, obviously the first part was the players and the staff here to get them to believe in me, and the supporters are important.
“I keep saying I’m not there yet because I haven’t delivered what I want to deliver to the football club and until I do, then I feel like I’m… it’s more me still trying to get our supporters to really believe and entrust in me the responsibility of steering this football club forward.”
Postecoglu also reflected on his comments after his side’s match against Rangers, where he highlighted the importance of football in people’s lives.
He said: “My point after that game is that we’ve got through a period of time over the last sort of 18 months, two years, where because of the circumstances the world’s been in in terms of the pandemic, where we’ve almost separated the game from its supporters.
“And whilst at the beginning I think it was done for the right reasons, after a while, it’s almost like we forgot that really the game without supporters is nothing because no-one wants to watch games in an empty stadium.”
Postecoglu added: “Sometimes I think, particularly when I listen to politicians talk, or people in positions of power, they don’t understand the investment that people have in their football clubs.
“That sometimes their whole week’s mood is judged by how their team goes and for some people, that’s hard to kind of conceptualise, but that’s how much it means to some people.
“So, we bear that responsibility, I bear that responsibility.”