Former Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould has backed Ange Postecoglou to cope with the scrutiny if he succeeds Neil Lennon as the Parkhead side’s permanent manager.

Postecoglou quickly became the favourite to take over when the Eddie Howe deal collapsed last Thursday evening and Gould, who coached against Postecoglou’s teams when he was Ian Ferguson’s assistant at Perth Glory, believes he won’t be unnerved walking into a post as second choice.

“The first thing about Ange is that he is big personality and he definitely won’t be fazed by that,” said Gould.

“He’s not stupid or naïve. He will be well aware of what has happened but this isn’t a guy who is frightened of a challenge. I don’t think he has only the strength of character to cope with that but I think he has the experience to do so as well.

“He is not coming to the club out of nowhere, regardless of how that has been presented in some quarters.

“This is a guy who has managed at a World Cup. People in Glasgow might have no real concept of the A-League but he managed in front of 50,000 supporters at the A-League Grand Final with Brisbane and 40,000 at Melbourne.


READ MORE: Fergal Harkin won't be part of Celtic restructuring plans with no offer tabled for Man City man

“He isn’t a guy who is wet behind the ears. He knows pressure and he has worked under pressure.

“At the same time, I do think the magnitude of the Celtic job and the global fanbase and reach of the club will probably still take some getting used to. No-one can really explain that to you until you’re in the thick of it.

“But he has the personality for that as well. He can be prickly too. He won’t be shy in speaking his mind.”

Aside from a popularity contest the most pressing concern for the 55-year-old will be the restructure of the current squad. No manager is afforded time at Celtic but on the back of a calamitous campaign and with the clock ticking on Champions League qualifiers that set a tone for the season, the pressure on Postecoglou will be immediate.

With the infrastructure at the club yet to be decided there is nevertheless a need for a swift recruitment strategy to be in place, compromised currently with no-one in charge to head up that department.

“There are obviously a lot of changes taking place within and around the club and the infrastructure just now but if there is a long-term strategy here then this guy could build something like Brendan Rodgers,” said Gould.

“He set an Australian record when he delivered Brisbane’s  first title when they went on a 36-game unbeaten run. I don’t care what league you are in – a Sunday league pub team or any other – going through that number of games is a pretty phenomenal achievement.

“And it tells you a lot about the culture within the club when such a feat is possible. You need everyone to stay hungry, stay focused, stay on board with what it is you want to do.


READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou will quickly win over doubters if given Celtic job, says ex-Hibs man Milligan

“He needs to be backed. If the board give him their trust in that respect then he will build an exciting team. And one thing is for sure – whoever is in goal for him will need to be comfortable playing out from the back.

“That’s the way his teams have all played. He went into Brisbane on the back of the club having recorded their worst ever season and took them to a double.

“Not just that, but they played the kind of football that would appeal to the Celtic support – it was all about pace, a big focus on wide men and an impetus always to get the ball going forward.”