Ange Postecoglou told his Celtic champions to stop and enjoy the moment after they picked up the cinch Premiership trophy following their 6-0 thrashing of Motherwell at Parkhead.
The former Australia manager brought with him the motto ‘we never stop’ when he took over at Celtic last summer and after a tricky start, the Hoops have gone unbeaten in the league since last September and won the title over Rangers by four points.
Celtic confirmed their 10th title win in 11 seasons last Wednesday night at Tannadice and they blew Well away in the final league game of the season as Kyogo Furuhashi and substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis both scored a double with goals also coming from David Turnbull and Jota.
Postecoglou will soak it all in and urged his players to do the same – as they will have to go again next season.
He said: “I have learned along the way that you need to take it in and enjoy it.
Celtic players lift the cup
“Most managers are no different, we are always thinking about the next step but I have to stop and celebrate what this group of people have achieved.
“They need to know that they can enjoy it, they are going to enjoy it, because that’s why you do it. You do it for days like this.
“It will stay with them forever so I want them to enjoy this moment and take it all in for themselves, their families, all the people around them who make sacrifices, our fans, for everyone to enjoy because I am going to ask them to do it next year.
“I will ask them to work twice as hard, to make more effort, to make more sacrifices. I can only ask that if I allow them to enjoy this.”
Postecoglou told the fans after the game that Celtic would be back “bigger and better” next season and he insists they will have to be as expectations will be as high as ever.
He said: “Whether I said it or not (we’ll be back bigger and better) – that’s the expectations at this club.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. When we roll up for the first game next season, our supporters will expect us to play football a certain way, win and be successful.
“We have to be ready for that. That’s our responsibility while we’re at Celtic. And it’s the way I’m built. This was the first stage.
“We’ve put in place a really strong foundation and have overcome a lot of obstacles.
“But being champions gives you a little bit more belief. They’ve already climbed the mountain so they know they can do it.
Giorgos Giakoumakis makes it 6-0 at Parkhead
“It’s about allowing them to enjoy it. But if they want this feeling again, they’ll need to come back better.”
Motherwell ended the season in fifth place and with a European Conference League qualifying place assured.
Boss Graham Alexander was keen to focus on that, rather than the mauling at the hands of the champions.
He said: “We wanted to come here and get a result but the game in the end, went beyond us.
“I thought the first 20 minutes we started quite solid but it’s not about today, it’s about the whole season.
“What the players and the staff have done this season is fantastic. But we have to try to improve.
“We have a clear idea of what we have to do to be better and just to repeat what we have done this season, we have to be better because everyone else will try to improve as well.”