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Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy believes Ange Postecoglou is “firmly focused” on creating something special at Parkhead.

The Hoops manager has been linked with the vacant position at Leeds this week after the Premier League club sacked Jesse Marsch.

Kennedy feels similar stories are sure to continue given Postecoglou’s impact – his side are nine points clear of Rangers as they look to regain the cinch Premiership title.

The long-serving coach was performing media duties ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup clash with St Mirren to give Postecoglou a week off and joked they had “just tied him to the chair upstairs and a put couple of security on his door”.

But the former Celtic defender reassured supporters that their manager was fully committed.

“There’s always speculation, I think credit to the manager in terms of the job that he’s done here,” Kennedy said. “It’s a bit like players, when players come and do well they get linked to other clubs.

“The manager has shown himself his abilities as a manager. I think when you do that and you have success with that you attract attention.

“That’s what’s happened but, ultimately, there’s a lot of speculation, a lot of noise but I know first hand the way he works. He’s really focused on his job here, he loves being here.

“He’s in the middle of building something very special so I think his mind is firmly focused on being at Celtic and doing the best he can here.”

Kennedy, who has also worked under Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers, described what it is like to observe Postecoglou up close.

“He has been a terrific guy to work with,” he said. “He came in with a really clear idea of what he wants and we have all embraced that and tried to fit that into how we work.

“The biggest message I can give you is his consistency in how he delivers his messages and what he wants from the team.

“The big thing for the players is that they get the repeated message all the time in terms of the game model and the key principles and behaviours and what he expects. That’s pretty much ingrained in the players now and I think you can see that.

“He doesn’t shy away from that, week on week he drills it into them and doesn’t waver on that.

“He is very strong in his convictions in terms of how he has managed the squad, the way he has pieced the squad together, he has pretty much had to rebuild a full squad.

“I think we all know the recruitment part of football can be very tricky at times, getting the right mix, but again because he is very clear on how he wants the team to play, he is then very clear in terms of the profile of player he needs to bring in. Everyone in the main has come in and contributed and we have a very strong squad.

“So everyone is pushing each other and the gaffer never lets up in terms of every day getting them out there and making sure we are maximising the training that we have.

“When you do that, that’s when you get consistent results and performances.

“He is a stickler for all his detail, he is a stickler for hard work and maintaining standards.

“And so far he has been terrific in terms of what he has contributed to the club.”

St Mirren are the only Scottish team to beat Celtic this season and Kennedy knows they need to be totally focused for the fifth-round tie in Glasgow.

“There’s always a slightly different mindset. There’s a bigger consequence, there is no way of redeeming yourself the following week or later on in the season so you have to go in with the maximum focus on it.

“Even if your performance isn’t going to plan you have to somehow dig out a result and get through to the next round.

“We know that but we just stick to the process. We know how we want to play and the approach and the way we prepare won’t change but you always in the back of your head have to maintain that there’s a bigger consequence to this game if you don’t perform on the day.”

Right-back Anthony Ralston is in contention to return from a back injury with back-up goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist the only absentee with a minor calf problem.