Tom Rogic is thrilled to see fellow Australian Ange Postecoglou banish any early doubts about his suitability to manage Celtic.
The midfielder played under his current Hoops boss when he was in charge of the Socceroos’ national team between 2013 and 2017.
As a result, Rogic knew better than anyone at Parkhead that Postecoglou had the capabilities to revive Celtic when he was appointed as Neil Lennon’s successor last summer.
Nonetheless, he was aware of the scepticism within Scottish football in the early weeks of his countryman’s reign before he soon built a team which has moved six points clear at the top of the cinch Premiership with four games to play.
“Having worked with him previously, a number of boys asked ‘what’s he like?’ and I was happy to share my thoughts and opinions,” said Rogic, facing the media for the first time since Postecoglou’s appointment.
“I laugh sometimes when I look back because although I knew him quite well, I think there was a perception of ‘he’s from Australia, from the other side of the world, who is this guy?’
“People have found out pretty quickly that he’s good at what he does and there’s a reason the club brought him here.
“Football’s a funny game and it doesn’t always work how you expect, but having worked with him I knew the way he goes about managing so I was quietly confident he’d be a success here.
“I know it’s easy to say that now, but as a player I would say he’s a top manager and it’s nice to see him get the recognition he deserves.
“It’s been good having him here. He’s a fantastic manager. Everyone can see the style of football we’re playing, the success we’ve had to date and will hopefully have in the future.
“I worked with him for four or five years in the national team so I knew him better than any of the other boys in the team, but working with him day to day and experiencing the intensity of working under him every day has been something I’ve enjoyed.
“As a manager he treats everyone the same. I knew I wasn’t going to get any preferential treatment.”
Rogic was speaking on the day he was announced as one of the four players shortlisted for PFA Scotland’s Premiership Player of the Year award, alongside clubmate Callum McGregor, Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon and Ross County winger Regan Charles-Cook.
The nomination represents a significant turnaround for the Australian, who looked like he had fallen from prominence at Celtic Park in recent seasons and could be heading for the exit door.
“Football’s a funny game,” he said. “I can’t control speculation or things being said in the media or whatever. It’s a game of opinions. Sometimes players have better spells throughout their career at certain times.
“It’s hard to explain. I’m still the same player that I was last season. It’s nice just to be playing week in, week out, enjoying my football and playing a style of football that suits me and the team.
“It’s nice recognition to be here (as a nominee). Certainly at times I’ve played some of my best football this season along with a lot of other boys in the team.
“Callum and myself have obviously been nominated but the two of us would agree it could be any number of players in our team.
“Us being here getting that individual recognition is certainly off the back of the collective group.”