Ange Postecoglou doesn’t get too much time to stop and reflect, being the Celtic manager will deprive of you that.

But given it’s two years this week since the meeting that set him on a life-changing path to Glasgow, perhaps he’s allowed to pause for a minute or two. He will keep to himself what was discussed with Dermot Desmond when the two got together on Zoom in May 2021, apart from the fact it was the beginning of a relationship Postecoglou values highly.

Celtic’s majority shareholder made a rare public appearance in Glasgow last week, spied and photographed by a plucky punter at the doors of Celtic Park, then taking a seat in the director’s box for Saturday’s draw with St Mirren. He has overseen Postecoglou’s impressive body of work over the past two seasons, and the manager himself believes Desmond’s backing – particularly in a sticky opening period – has been crucial to his success.

He may not be the most visible for supporters, but the Irish billionaire’s presence is certainly felt – and appreciated – by the man he chose to re-establish Celtic’s position at the summit of Scottish football.

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“It’s been quite a two years since that first talk with Dermot,” the 57-year-old said. “We have just accomplished so much in that space of time.

“It was a lot different when I walked in but we have done a lot, from the success we have had on the field to the players we have brought in. The way we play our football and the general feeling around the club, with the connection with the supporters, has been a credit to everyone.

“From my perspective I couldn’t be happier with the support I have received to try to get this club back to where it has been before, and was for a long time. The fact we could do it really quickly is a credit to everyone.

“Dermot was the first person I spoke to with regards to the club. He’s very influential and has been very supportive of me, personally and within the club.

“Particularly when we didn’t have the smoothest of starts. It didn’t last very long but it was still a difficult beginning. During that time, he was immensely supportive of me.

“I knew that he and the club would have my back and support me until I got the club to where we needed to be. I enjoy a great relationship with Dermot and his family.

“He’s a very important part of Celtic and has been for a long time. It’s been great that I have been able to repay that faith he showed me right from the start.

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“We are in regular contact with each other and that’s because Dermot loves Celtic, he loves talking about the games and how the club is going in general.

“It’s not like I have to update him with everything, that’s what I do with [chief-executive] Michael Nicholson.

“He lets us get on with our roles of running the club but Dermot is really passionate about Celtic and about football. I don’t know if he’s in contact with me more or less than previous managers.

“I don’t know if I’m a favourite or not! But he has treated me very well.”

Postecoglou, in his own words, was the ‘next cab out of the rank’ after Celtic’s very public pursuit of Eddie Howe fizzled out against a backdrop of significant fan discontent over the equally doomed pursuit of 10 in a row. Postecoglou, for his part, was never really bothered about second choice – he had a job to do, and what use would dwelling on the fact that Celtic initially wanted someone else have done him?

As it happens, Howe has gone on to do rather well for himself. Appointed Newcastle United manager around six months after going cold on a move to Glasgow, he has led the Saudi-backed club into the Champions League for the first time since 2003.

Postecoglou sees some parallels between them, in that Howe, too, could never be accused of being fast-tracked into management at the highest level in Europe. Howe previously spoke of his respect  for the work Postecoglou has done at Celtic, and it’s clear the feeling is mutual.

“I absolutely admire the job Eddie has done at Newcastle,” the Parkhead manager said. “You can see why this football club wanted him to take charge here.

“He’s a very impressive person, as well as a manager. He has done an unbelievable job and I also felt he did a great job at Bournemouth.

“Eddie has worked his way up, he has done all the hard bits you need to do as a manager. He has had to earn everything along the way.

“It’s great for Eddie and for Newcastle that they are back in the Champions League. It’s a big club that hasn’t enjoyed a lot of success recently, so it’s great to see them back in there.

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By virtue of being placed into the treacherous pot four for the group stage draw, Celtic and Newcastle cannot immediately be paired when UEFA’s top table reconvenes early next season. But should they both forage their way into the latter stages, how satisfying a twist would it be for Postecoglou and Howe to cross paths?

“Yeah, that would be nice,” Postecoglou said. “Knowing the passions of both sets of supporters, those would be two games nobody would want to miss out on - home and away. There would be an unbelievable atmosphere at both.

“The Champions League is where you want to be involved. It’s going to be exciting again and right now, you are ticking off the champions in each league and seeing who else is getting the spots.

“Once the season is over, we will start looking at potential draws. No matter who we get, you can guarantee it will be another exciting draw for us."