ANGE POSTECOGLOU has promised that next season will be better again from Celtic after “80%” of his current squad missed out on a pre-season this year.

The Celtic manager will look to strengthen his squad ahead of a campaign that will also have Champions League football but having had to start from this year from a position of chaos, he is confident that the foundations are already in place.

“You look at 80% of this squad and I suggest they didn’t do a pre-season,” he said. “They either came in after pre-season or in the winter or were injured. We have a lot of players like Kyogo and David Turnbull who missed big chunks of the season because we overburdened them at the start of the season.

“We will get natural improvement because we are at a much better starting point. The challenge then is to keep pushing the players to be better and add to the squad to make us stronger. Where we start on the first day of pre-season will be way ahead of where we were.”

There was a celebratory mood as Celtic staged a proper title party – the first since 2019 given Covid restrictions and Rangers’ success last year – but Postecoglou’s own private raising of a glass promised to be a fairly sedate affair.

“I’ll take it easy,” he said. “My fatherly advice to the whole group, borne through experience, is that if you want to make a night memorable then you better remember most of it.”

It is a season that Celtic fans will remember with fondness given the inauspicious beginnings it had before the sheer relentless of the season took hold; yesterday’s win was the club’s 32nd league game without defeat.

“There is no secret,” he said. “I tell the players every day that the magic that happens out there is sheer hard work every day. Respecting each other, pushing each other and respecting who you work alongside.

“It is sweat and tears and pushing yourself all the time. It is easy to say but to be willing to do it on a daily basis, it is the only way you can make something special. This group have done that. They have been committed to a cause and we wanted to play our football a certain way. We have stuck to that and it was our roadmap to success and it meant that in the early days there was some tough times.”