Celtic FC gaffer Ange Postecoglou celebrated his birthday weekend with a record-breaking Scottish Premiership win.
Despite a nine-goal destruction of Dundee United, the 57-year-old remained classy. .
The recently-turned 57-year-old believes the absence of showboating or self-indulgence was a sign of a team in ruthless mode while showing courtesy rather than contempt.
“No manager goes out there to try and not be successful,” the Greek-Australian said.
“Of course there is a part of you that on the sideline does feel for what the other guy is going through as we’re all in the same kind of game.
“We didn’t take advantage of that, we stayed respectful in terms of our approach to the game. I don’t think sympathy is the right word as we all know we are in this business and it’s a ruthless business.
“I don’t think Jack Ross needs my sympathy. I have a respect and understanding about the position he’s in.
“I’ve always said with every manager that unless you’re in their shoes it’s very hard to know what they’re dealing with or how they’re going about things.
“It’s credit to the players, they were really disciplined and focused. We knew Dundee United are going through a tough time and were potentially vulnerable if we started the game strongly and played our football.
“I thought we did that.
“There was a patch in the first half when we were a bit sloppy with our passing but I rectified that pretty quickly.
“The key after that was to stay focused and to keep playing our football and not let the scoreline or the circumstances take us away from that. I thought the boys did well to do that.”
As the champions moved back to the Premiership summit with the biggest winning margin in the modern era of the top-flight, Postecoglou pointed to a performance where the scoreline came secondary to his bigger picture.
He said: “It’s the team we want to be, it’s not just about the football we want to play. With respect to whether it’s the first or the last minute or whether we’re winning or not, we want to play at a certain tempo and intensity.
“We want to work hard and make sure that everyone is contributing. Today it would have been very easy to get away from that. It’s not just about winning a game of football, it’s about us setting our own standards within that.”
The Aussie was left scratching his head as to whether the 9-0 success was also a personal best for him as a boss but he’s adamant it’s a result Celtic will take in their stride.
He said: “I’ve no idea, it’s not something I keep a track of. For me, what is more important is the manner in which we went about it.
“I’m always respectful of this game. You need to stay humble and you can’t get too ahead of yourself or this game will drag you back down.
“Right to the end we were respectful. We understood that we had a vulnerable opponent but there was no getting away from being disciplined.”
The 9-0 also represents the biggest winning margin Celtic FC has achieved on its travel outs of Glasgow’s East.
There were hat-tricks for Kyogo and Liel Abada and Postecoglou added: “Kyogo’s been really good but again it wasn’t just about his goals. He was the one harassing their centre backs when a couple of our counter-attacks were launched. He’s another one who’s been outstanding for us since the day he arrived.
“All of these guys want to get better, to keep improving and they want to keep working hard. As long as they have that mentality we’ll keep going well. Abada did well, he’s been outstanding for us. He’s only a young man and he’s already scored a lot of goals and had assists so he’s performing at a really high level.
“He wants to improve and keep getting better. The good thing is our front guys today got their rewards with goals and assists but they also worked awfully hard off the ball.
“That’s one of the things about our attacking play, they put in really strong shifts and were doing the stuff other players maybe don’t do. That’s why they get the rewards they do.”
There was also satisfaction for the Hoops gaffer at the execution of his side’s goals and staying true to the systems he’s been working on in training. He said: “We were really good in front of goal. Some of our goals were trademark, about being in the right areas and the right kind of positions the players were taking up.
“There were good decisions being made in front of goal and that was pleasing as it’s the most difficult area of the park. Scoring goals, as easy as it looked today, is still the most difficult of tasks in our game.
“The boys were very focused. At the end they could have chosen the individual route but we were still trying to play our football and still trying to score the kind of goals that we work on.”