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CELTIC AND POSTECOGLOU: EX-STAR’S DRAMATIC U-TURN

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FORMER Celtic star Charlie Nicholas reckons there have been some positive signs for Ange Posetcoglou and the Hoops in recent weeks.

The one-time Parkhead fans’ favourite has watched the team win back-to-back away games in the Premiership for the first time in over eight months.

Nicholas saw another of his former clubs, Aberdeen, turned over 2-1 at Pittodrie before the international break and Postecoglou’s men remained on course with a solid 2-0 triumph over Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.

The ex-Scotland international striker insisted his old club where “in meltdown”, as Scotzine reported last month, but he appears to have had a dramatic change of mind with the Parkhead squad revamp beginning to take shape under the management of the Greek-Australian who only arrived in June.

THUMB’S UP…Ange Postecoglou happy after 2-0 win at Fir Park.

Nicholas said: “Celtic look a lot more promising and they look like they will be Rangers’ main challengers again.

“They have won two away games at Aberdeen and Motherwell. I wouldn’t say they have built up real momentum, but it has been a start.

“Ange Postecoglou now looks to be getting a bit of strength on his bench and the signs are more encouraging.”

Nicholas, writing in his Daily Express, added: “Christopher Jullien is also close to coming back, although I think it will take him a good few games to get up to speed.

“Things are a lot more positive and it would be good if he could get a win against the Hungarians of Ferencavros in the Europa League.

“It has been a good weekend for Celtic and if they can win in Europe that will build the confidence further.”

It’s a change of thinking from Nicholas who was clearly not impressed by the Hoops following their 1-1 draw at home to Dundee United to drop six points off the pace in the Premiership.

The former hitman also likened Postecoglou to Ronny Deila, the Norwegian who lasted only two years in the Parkhead hot seat before making way for the Brendan Rodgers era.

At the time, Nicholas observed: “I am not sure he (Postecoglou) realised how big Celtic really are before he came in. I believe he has missed a pitch. I think Ange believed he would just come in here and his playing style would get him over the line, no problem. But it is not about style, it is about winning.

“Ronny Deila came in and thought: ‘I will get the players really fit.’

“He then brought in John Collins to help him and it got results, but, in the long term, teams were getting closer to Celtic and they had to bring in Brendan Rodgers.”

Celtic can grab a lifeline this afternoon at Parkhead when they take on Ferencavros in the third outing in their Europa League Group G after losing their first two matches against Real Betis 4-3 in Seville and Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 in Glasgow.

It’s a must-win encounter and it will be interesting to see how they cope after two crucial away victories in the Premiership to edge to within four points of Rangers.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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