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In many ways - style of play, trophy success, general popularity, fan harmony - Celtic's last couple of years can be split into Before Ange and Since Ange.

Before Ange Postecoglou the wheels were very much off the dominant domestic train that had encompassed the reigns of Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Lennon again.

Before Ange Postecoglou, Lennon's second spell had ended in unmitigated disaster as the fabled 10 in a row slipped away, Rangers won their first top-flight title since promotion and widely-questioned first-team coach John Kennedy was left with the parcel when the music stopped in May 2021.

Before Ange Postecoglou, basically, Celtic had slid into a state acutely resembling that of a shambles.

Since Ange Postecoglou there has been a turnaround of epic proportions; a rebuild undertaken in double-quick time helmed by a force of nature personality with a rapier tongue and a fundamental belief in the Celtic Way of playing.

In the process the Australian's 22 months have brought with it a Premiership and League Cup double, a return to the Champions League promised land and another League Cup.

READ MORE: Celtic are in a title race... it's just not with Rangers

There is also, of course, the small matter of the current 12-point gap at the top of the league this season and the very real prospect of both a world-record points haul and a historic eighth treble in the offing too given a Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers lies in wait later this month.

A lesser remarked upon part of Postecoglou's transformation since taking charge at Parkhead is, well, nothing to do with Parkhead at all really.

The season before the 57-year-old assumed the hotseat, Lennon's side had started the campaign for 10 in a row with four away wins in their first five league road trips. Then it all got a bit dodgy.

They won two away matches from their next six including a costly 1-0 loss at Ibrox. To their credit, they managed to reel off three in succession following that run but thereafter things descended into mediocrity as a lengthy, 231-day winless away run began in earnest.

It's not easy to reverse that kind of struggle straight off the bat and Postecoglou didn't find it so; he lost his first three domestic away games - to Hearts in his first-ever Premiership match as well as to Livingston at Almondvale and to Rangers in his maiden Glasgow Derby.

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In Europe, an understrength Hoops team succumbed 2-1 after extra time to FC Midtjylland in the second leg of their Champions League group stage qualifier a couple of days before the Hearts game. 

Notably, though, Postecoglou did oversee a 4-2 away win against Czech side FK Jablonec in early August 2021 - a result he said himself afterwards was as much about restoring some faith as anything else.

"It's a reward for the players," he said post-game in Jablonec nad Nisou. "Hopefully it gives them confidence and belief."

After all that, Pittodrie happened. Jota struck with around six minutes left to seize a 2-1 win and end a dreadful domestic away-day record that stretched seven months and 20 days; a genuine low point for a club and team as dominant, as eminent, as Celtic.

Postecoglou fist-pumped his way over to the away support in the Granite City in images that resonated even at the time as more than just celebrating a victory.

For the manager, he viewed it as a riposte to the team's early-season critics; those who sought to tell him his methods wouldn't work here, that he had to be pragmatic and change.

"The important thing is the manner we did it," he said at Pittodrie. "We showed great character. That's probably the one thing people were questioning up until now."

Later, he told the press: "I’m hoping that in six months when they look back, they will know why I have been so resolute and persistent about what we are doing.”

If they didn't then, they do now. The unbridled success Postecoglou has brought since that day has been built on a bedrock of cohesive, attacking football and an outstanding home record, of course it has.

But don't underestimate the task his men faced, and still face, in travelling the length and breadth of Scotland to play on tighter pitches often not conducive to an attractive style of play against opponents usually set up to stop them from attempting it.

To face that and not only not deviate from their own gameplan but actively impose it on the rest of the country to the tune of 31 wins, four draws and just one solitary defeat in 36 away matches since that day in Aberdeen is wonderfully understated.

Of course your record away from home tells only half the story in any given league season but, with Celtic ready to hit the road again for this weekend's southern excursion to Kilmarnock, don't sleep on just how different these away days have all been since Ange.

This piece is an extract from the latest Celtic Digest newsletter, which is emailed out every weekday evening with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from The Celtic Way team.

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