Ange Postecoglou has wasted little time in stamping his authority on the team at Parkhead since he first pitched up in Scotland almost two years ago. Dozens of players have arrived and a similar number have moved on to pastures new as the Greek-Australian has completely overhauled the squad, moulding it to suit the demands of his tactical blueprint.

Surviving members of the pre-Postecoglou era are few and far between at Celtic these days. The likes of Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor are perhaps the biggest success stories; walking, talking examples of what can be achieved by buying into their manager’s philosophy. Others – such as Scott Bain, James Forrest and Stephen Welsh – have largely fallen by the wayside, having to make do with the odd appearance here and there as they look to secure their long-term future at the club.

Then there’s a third category: those who have garnered enough minutes that calling them a fringe player would be doing them a disservice, but who undoubtedly serve as understudies to first-team regulars. David Turnbull, the former Motherwell midfielder, surely falls into this subset – as does Anthony Ralston.

The Herald:

The right-back is a popular figure amongst supporters and the academy graduate is perhaps Celtic’s most-improved player since Postecoglou’s Antipodean revolution took hold in Glasgow’s east end. It wasn’t so long ago that fans could be forgiven for assuming the defender had no long-term future at the club following a series of underwhelming loan spells elsewhere, but Ralston has stayed put.

Josip Juranovic was Postecoglou’s first pick at right-back during the Croatian’s 18-month stint in Scotland and his replacement from the January window, Alistair Johnston, has slipped in seamlessly in defence. An injury sustained during last week’s Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Rangers looks to have brought a premature end to the Canada internationalist’s debut campaign in Glasgow – but within crisis lays opportunity.

READ MORE: Big in Japan: Ange Postecoglou hopes tour will help Celtic gain millions of new fans

That’s certainly how Postecoglou sees it. With five league fixtures left this season, starting with this afternoon’s trip to Tynecastle, Ralston is set for an extended run in the team. The 24-year-old has not had his troubles to seek this term, picking up niggling complaints hither and yon, and his manager believes few deserve their chance to shine more than the Scotland internationalist.

“Tony has had a bit of a frustrating year,” Postecoglou explained. “He’s picked up some injuries at different times when it was more likely than not that he was going to play, even with the national team when he got called up by Scotland. It’s just been that sort of year.

“But through it all he’s had a fantastic attitude. Every time he trains, he trains as hard as he possibly can. He wants to improve. From the moment I arrived last year he’s been one of the few who remained and he’s got this really strong desire to get the most out of his football career and to contribute.

“Since the new year Alistair has come in and Tony was injured for the most part of that. Alistair has done really well and Tony has had to be patient. But you saw last week he came on in one of the biggest games of the year, and not only came on but contributed to our victory. Now he gets the reward of a run of games where he can finish the season on a positive note.”

READ MORE: 'They've got to earn it': Ange Postecoglou issues reminder to Celtic youngsters

That ability to set aside one’s own personal ambitions and put the needs of the collective first is a prerequisite for any member of Postecoglou’s squad. A combination of the coach’s rotation policy and the club’s lengthy fixture list means that players have to get used to putting their ego to one side and dropping out of the team every so often, and few typify that attitude more than Ralston.

Postecoglou continued: “There is no secret that for a big part of our year we’ve needed a strong squad. People forget the Champions League takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally and mentally, and through that time our league form was brilliant because I was able to rotate the squad. I was able to use the whole squad, not just rely on a certain amount of players.

“We’ve had fewer injuries this year and that’s because everyone has embraced that we need a strong collective. Tony epitomises that.

“I wouldn’t want people to think a player is happy not playing. All of these players want to play, but they show it in a healthy way. The way they do it is train really hard and make themselves available and if the opportunity arises they take that opportunity. That’s the environment that exists here.

“If you watch our training you couldn’t tell who started the week before and who didn’t. Or who is about to start and who isn’t. They all train the same way. That has been a key part of our success.”

The Herald:

Ralston isn’t the only Celtic player who is likely to see his game time increase between now and the end of the season. With Cameron Carter-Vickers ruled out for the remainder of the campaign, a spot in the starting XI has opened up at centre-half.

Yuki Kobayashi appears to be the leading candidate to fill it. The 22-year-old, a January arrival from Vissel Kobe in his homeland, has started two Premiership matches since moving to Parkhead and the expectation is that supporters will be seeing a lot more of the centre-back in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou issues Alistair Johnston injury update

“Yeah that is fair to say,” Postecoglou said. “We brought in Yuki in January and the whole rationale behind it was to allow him time to bed in and understand our football and the way we train. It was the same with all of our January signings, although obviously Alistair has played a lot more than the other guys because Tony was out and we sold Josip so he had more of a run.

“Whenever we have called upon Yuki I think he’s done really well, he’s improved every time he has an opportunity. Again he’s been training really well, really strong, he’s done a lot of work. He’s done a lot of work with John Kennedy every day to improve himself so that he’s ready when his opportunity arises and he has an opportunity now for a run of games to play and contribute.”