21 months have passed since Ange Postecoglou departed Tynecastle with a daunting realisation weighing heavy on his mind.

His patchwork team had just been beaten by Hearts in the new Celtic manager’s first-ever Premiership match, and he could not escape the feeling that he had landed in Glasgow to find himself standing at the foot of a mountain.

But as he sat atop it for the second season running on Sunday afternoon, Postecoglou is adamant his confidence in making such days a reality for the fans who chanted his name relentlessly from the stand never wavered.

His team are worthy champions once more, confirmed at the same venue they faltered back on that bruising first day, losing just once in the league all season to leave Rangers trailing 13 points behind in their wake. But would he have envisaged all this back at the very beginning when times were tough? You can probably guess the answer.

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‘Yeah, I would have,” Postecoglou insisted. “That’s why I did it. Walking off that day I knew we had a mountain to climb, but I knew that before we took the role on. I wouldn’t have taken it on if I didn’t believe that we could deliver in the way that we have. 

 “It has taken a leap of faith for a lot of people within the football club to trust me and my judgement in many areas. But I was confident that, if I had that kind of support, I could create a team that would make this football club proud and be hard to stop.

“I have done that wherever I have gone. It’s not me being arrogant, it’s just the truth. I have that belief that wherever I am we can create that. 

“You are never comfortable at any stage. Walking off after that first game I knew that we had to work quickly, but I knew we could get there.”

Postecoglou looked visibly emotional at the end, standing back from the epicentre of the celebrations as he sought to soak it all up. He did not deny that the occasion stirred strong feelings within him.

“I am emotional because you put a lot into it, you know,” he said. “I realise that I’m doing what I love. I’m pretty good at it but it doesn’t happen in isolation without the people around you, whether that’s my wife and kids and family and friends or the support I’ve had within the football club and outside the football club.

“You want to pay that back as well. It’s not just about having success, it’s about giving back to all those people who are prepared to support me on a daily basis to allow me to do what I do.

“Everything you do it hard earned and all those sacrifices people make - and the commitment and support they give me - makes you emotional to think about.” 

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Postecoglou signed off last season by declaring that his team would come back bigger and better in the quest to retain their title. His words were a challenge to the Celtic players, a test to see if they would respond to his rallying cry.

With two trophies nestled away in the Celtic Park cabinet, and possibly a third to follow in the Scottish Cup, Postecoglou feels they have responded in ‘unbelievable’ fashion.

“It makes me immensely proud that the group embraced that,” the manager said. “After winning it last year I was throwing some words out there, about being stronger and bigger and better and all those kind of things. 

“I purposefully did that to throw out a challenge to the lads that we have to be a better team if we were going to defend our title.  Especially being in the Champions League where people underestimate the physical and mental toll that takes on you. 

“Through that time our league form was outstanding. That was because the whole group was prepared to drive through that time.  We were never going to be de-railed from our main challenge of being champions again. 

“I am immensely proud that the guys took on that mantra of being better than we were last year. I think the standard they have set this season has been unbelievable.”