The idea of waging psychological warfare on Rangers for a league campaign which hasn’t even kicked off yet is not particularly appealing to Ange Postecoglou.

Arriving at Ibrox this afternoon, he won’t be talking to his Celtic players about laying down a marker for next season. Instead, his focus is on sustaining the momentum which has, so far, carried them to the brink of an unprecedented eighth domestic treble.

Whether it’s on his mind or not, though, an away victory in front of 50,000 home supporters will be another body blow to Rangers manager Michael Beale. It would also ensure Celtic finish the campaign unbeaten against their city rivals, whose summer is all about rebuilding.

But as that close season approaches, Postecoglou knows placing too much significance on what came before is unhelpful when preparing for a new term, remarking that if he’d done so when taking the Celtic job, his stay in Scotland would probably have been a short one.

“It doesn’t concern me,” he said. “If I got wrapped up in that stuff about mental scars I would have packed my bags last year. You take each one on an individual basis and when one is done and dusted, you move along to the next one. You can’t rest on your laurels in this kind of game and think one side is in the ascendancy.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou in Celtic response to Rangers guard of honour snub

“For us it’s about playing well in this one. We want to continue our form, finish strongly and prepare for the Cup Final. Next season we all start at zero. You don’t take any points with you for what you’ve done this year.”

He is even less interested in whether or not Rangers give his Premiership champions a guard of honour pre-kick-off. They were never going to, Postecoglou never expected them to and, surely, neither did any great number of Celtic fans.

As far as he’s concerned, there are other ways to be respectful than standing to attention to deliver a few seconds of applause right before a derby match. He has, incidentally, been contacted by most of his rival Premiership managers with messages of congratulations since Celtic clinched the title last week. Postecoglou suggested that means much more to him than ‘grand gestures’ for the cameras.

“It’s a trivial matter [guard of honour], the 57-year-old said. “Those things are not important to me. Rangers can handle it in their own way.

“I tend to think these things are more symbolic gestures anyway. If you scratch any at the surface, I think you will find respect from both sets of players.

“Both clubs know what it takes to be successful. There’s always respect down the line.

READ MORE: Michael Beale confirms Rangers won't give Celtic guard of honour

“We don’t need guards of honour and I wouldn’t criticise Rangers for giving one or not.

“It’s down to the individual's decision. It’s not important to me.

“It’s not something I can remember coming across too much over the years. There’s nothing wrong with it, if that’s the tradition in the context of the sport.

“But I don’t like it when people put these things up as some kind of sign of standards of a football club.

“It’s just symbolic. Real respect comes from different ways. I’ve had text messages from just about every Premiership manager congratulating us on our season and we are fierce competitors every week.

“That’s how you show respect. You know it’s there and you don’t need any grand gestures.”

Postecoglou think these games are grand enough. If ever there was a time his relentless Celtic team might take their eye off the ball, you could reason that it might be in the wake of last weekend’s title celebrations, when a months-long march to being crowned champions finally came to an end. In that respect, their manager believes there’s merit in the idea that this is the perfect game to follow the championship party at Tynecastle to ensure an immediate refocusing, not least with the Scottish Cup final moving onto the horizon.

“To a certain extent,” he said. “We’ve still got something to play for in the next four games and we need to make sure we are ready for the Cup Final, because that is massive for us.

“I’m sure the lads would be focused irrespective of who we are facing. They want to keep going and make sure they are part of the Final.

READ MORE: The Fixture newsletter - SPFL failing to sell excitement of our game properly

“The derbies are cracking games. We are away from home with no supporters there. It’s going to be a huge challenge and we’ll need to play well if we want to get a result.”

It would be unusual for Postecoglou to make wholesale changes, but he suggested he could take the opportunity to give some players a first taste of what these games are all about.

“It’s a combination of things,” he said. “It’s about preparing a team for the Final so a few of the boys will need game time in case there are injuries leading up to Hampden.

“We can’t have someone who hasn’t played for four of five weeks.

“It’s an opportunity to put in some guys and allow them to experience the pretty unique atmosphere of Ibrox in front of now away fans and against a good opponent.

“The backdrop will be we want to win the game – and we’ll send out a team to do so.”