Carl Starfelt insists there was no hint of goodbye in Ange Postecoglou’s treble-winning address.
The Celtic manager became the sixth boss in the club’s history to deliver a clean sweep yesterday as his all-conquering side saw off Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup final. But a world record eighth treble comes against the backdrop of swirling speculation Postecoglou could depart for Tottenham Hotspur – and he refused to discuss his future at full-time.
Starfelt, who on the day completed a full set of Scottish major honours after missing out on last season’s Scottish Cup, revealed the full-time message from the manager was one of pride, and not an emotional farewell.
The Sweden international admits he has no idea what will happen next for the man who brought him to Celtic from Rubin Kazan two years ago, but was certain that Saturday’s historic achievement meant the world to him.
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“He is a really good manager and is really important for Celtic,” said the centre-back. “Whatever happens, I have no idea. We will just wait and see. I guess he is really proud of this season.
“He said how proud he is of everyone: the staff, the players. That was the main message. If anyone knows how hard we’ve been working… it’s not only the games, it’s coming into training everyday with a big focus and desire.
“Everyone sees the games but that’s what needed if you want to win things. He is really proud that we have won.
”No [it did not sound like farewell], absolutely not. But we will wait to see.”
Starfelt confessed he wasn’t aware that Celtic’s success now means they have racked up more domestic clean sweeps than any other club. And the centre-back is glad he and his team-mates can now pause to reflect on their successes after a marathon season.
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“It’s an incredible feeling to win the treble, to get all of the domestic trophies we can win,” the 28-year-old said. “I am so happy for what we have done this season for all the effort we have put in.
“I am really proud of every one of my team-mates as we have worked so hard for it.
“I will also admit that I am low on energy so the pressure to win this trophy was there but we also know how badly we want to win them. I am a little bit drained with energy right now but I’m sure that in a couple of days it will feel even better.
“I didn’t even know it was a world record but that is amazing.”