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Postecoglou hails champions-elect Celtic as deserving title winners

Celtic all but clinched the league title with a 4-1 win over Hearts.

Postecoglou hails champions-elect Celtic as deserving Premiership winners SNS Group
Postecoglou: Full of praise for champions-elect Celtic.

Ange Postecoglou has challenged his Celtic squad to charge over the finishing line at full speed as they clinch the Premiership title.

The Australian, who will become the first non-European manager to win a league title in Scotland, praised his side as deserving winners after they came from behind to beat Hearts in a game that all but wrapped the trophy up.

The Hoops now have a nine-point lead and a 22-goal advantage over their nearest rivals with only two games left.

Second placed Rangers have three games left but Celtic’s superior goal difference means the title race is realistically all over for this season.

Postecoglou, who will add the Premiership trophy to the League Cup won in December, said: “I said to the boys before the game that there are many ways you can finish something off.

“You can collapse through the finishing tape or you can go through it at top speed, and that’s what we want to do. It’s what we’ve been doing all year.

“We’ll go hard on Wednesday and get back here and go hard again in the last game.”

Nobody within the Celtic camp was declaring title victory but there was a celebratory feel to the post-match lap of honour.

“There is nothing wrong with enjoying the journey,” Postecoglou said. “It’s not always just about the destination.

“I thought it was a top performance from the boys and for us that’s the greatest reward you can get, to see the joy that it brings other people.

“Whether that’s your own family and the people who love you, or the supporters who love this football club.”

The engraver can get to work on the Premiership trophy on Sunday if Rangers drop points at home to Dundee United or Celtic could officially secure the title themselves by avoiding defeat at Tannadice on Wednesday.

“I’ll win it any old way mate, it doesn’t really bother me,” Postecoglou said. “For us, what’s important is that I think we’ve earned it this year, and that we continue to earn it.

“We’re not collapsing over the line, we’re strong, we’re committed to something. Our performances and the challenges we’re overcoming are reflecting that.”