ANGE Postecoglou has stated that he would never label a rival manager “lucky” - and stressed that it has taken him 25 years of hard work to get to a club like Celtic where he has a multi-million pound budget.

Rangers manager Michael Beale caused controversy back in January when he described his opposite number Postecoglou as “a lucky man” and added “he has spent a lot of money”.

But the Greek-Australian, whose team kept alive their hopes of completing a world record eighth domestic treble this season with a 1-0 win over their city rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday, dismissed that narrative yesterday.  

The 57-year-old argued that he has earned the right to lavish six figure sums on players in the transfer market during his decades in the dugout – and stressed that having cash to spend strengthening his squad by no means guarantees him success.

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Asked if being labelled “lucky" by Beale had annoyed and motivated him, he said: "It didn't annoy me, it doesn't motivate me.

“But I think people use that kind of language deliberately. I would never use that language about somebody in my position. I'm not sure which bit is ‘lucky’.

“I think Michael at the time was referring to the fact I had money to spend. But you know what? I didn't get to this position out of luck. I've worked 25 years in coaching to be entrusted at a club like this. This isn't my first job. If it was my first job maybe I'd be lucky, but it's not, it's 25 years of hard work.”

Postecoglou has enjoyed enormous success with the players he has brought to Celtic since arriving in Scotland nearly two years ago – he signed no fewer than nine members of the side which started the semi-final on Sunday.

The Parkhead club have spent £3m on Alistair Johnston, £3.5m on Alexandro Bernabei, £3.5m on Liel Abada, £4m on Carl Starfelt, £4.5m on Kyogo Furuhashi and £6m on both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota.

However, the former Yokohama F Marinos manager has seen how many clubs have failed spectacularly after investing heavily in their squad and feels that being branded lucky is unfair. 

The Herald:

"I have to spend that money and I can get it wrong,” he said. “And many have, with bigger clubs than ours. So I'm not sure which bit is luck.

“I think everything you do in life, and particularly in our game, is hard-earned. That doesn't mean that luck doesn't come into it at different times, but to describe any aspect of my role as fortunate or lucky I just don't think it's a fair reflection of anybody in my position.

“I don't think Michael is in a lucky position just because he's at a club which has resources that other clubs in Scotland don't. I know he has to work hard if he is going to be successful, the same way I have."

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Postecoglou continued: "I don't think any part of my job is easy, I don't think any part of my job is lucky. I don't think any part of any manager's job in whatever sort of environment they are working in is one where you can use those terms.

“Any manager in any position knows, irrespective of the circumstances, that it's hard work. You've got to be totally dedicated. And you've got to always try to make the best decisions that you are asked to make every day.

“To dismiss this as something that should just happen naturally, because of who we are as a club, disregards so many factors that come into what it takes to be successful."