The last time a Celtic manager went to Ibrox for his first encounter against Rangers and won John Major was PM, Four Weddings & A Funeral was in cinemas, and Wet Wet Wet topped the charts for 15 weeks.

The year was 1994 and goals from Paul McStay and John Collins saw the Tommy Burns' team head back to the East End with a 2-0 victory and all three points. Twenty-seven years have now passed and no Hoops manager has gone to Ibrox for his first Glasgow Derby and managed to win the game since.

It’s a surprising statistic, but it’s one that Ange Postecoglou is in the perfect position to shatter, with his team playing scintillating football in a way that we haven’t seen at Celtic Park for a long time.

After a disappointing league opener against Hearts at Tynecastle, Celtic have been unstoppable. 

Captivating football, chances aplenty and a barrage of goals have had the fans lavishing praise on both manager and players after a phenomenal turnaround in their performances.

Confidence is high and Ange’s philosophy pulsates through our play. Dynamic and unpredictable with the ball, aggressive and relentless without it; this Celtic team is everything we could hope for. And they’re only just getting started.

That the manager has fully impressed his ideas upon the team in only two-and-a-half months indicates to me that, with an even further strengthened squad, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

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With more signings and more competition for places will come an even bigger jump in standards, leaving Ange in a far better position than when he first walked through the door at Lennoxtown.

He deserves every bit of praise for the turnaround in fortunes, which has led to the repair of a somewhat damaged relationship between the fans and the team.

Ange’s commendable efforts even extend beyond football, into his character and demeanour, and how he represents the club.

His support of Kyogo Furuhashi in the wake of the video we’ve all seen was befitting of what we expect our leader to be: self-assured, impassioned and unwavering. That glimpse of Ange as a human, and also as a man-manager, leaves me even further convinced that his players will work themselves into the ground for him. 

The feel-good factor is well and truly back at Celtic Park and, while I preach eulogistically about Ange and the Bhoys, I promise I haven’t lost sight of reality just yet.

Rangers aren’t in the best form and old habits are reappearing, but don’t be fooled. We’re in for an intense battle, one exacerbated by the fact that we won’t have a single supporter inside the ground. Unless Chris Sutton is commentating, that is.

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No away fans will be present, which will dampen the atmosphere at points, although it hasn’t been the same since Rangers decided that they couldn’t stomach us partying in the Broomloan Stand any longer…

No away fans aside, this is still the most intense atmosphere in world football, and no debutant is immune to the frenetic energy of the crowd and the game itself. We need our experienced players to step up and absorb that hostility, or this could be another example of that old trope of how ‘form goes out the window’ in this fixture.

But I think the team will do just that. We’re well equipped to win this game, and Rangers will be feeling the effects of their long journey home from Armenia just two days before kick-off. This is the time to lay down the marker and set the standard. The power balance could swing dramatically if we win on Sunday.

When Burns won his first game against Rangers 27 years ago in 1994, they had come off the back of a European defeat to AEK Athens.

Here’s hoping lightning strikes twice this Sunday.