Ange Postecoglou insisted that he has not paid any attention to the “noise” of Leeds speculation after watching Celtic beat St Mirren 5-1 in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at Parkhead.
The Hoops boss is rumoured to on the radar of the Elland Road club who last week parted company with Jesse Marsch amid a Premier League relegation battle.
Celtic eventually overcame a spirited Saints side with goals from Daizen Maeda, a Reo Hatate double – one from the penalty spot after Buddies defender Richard Taylor was sent off for handball – a first Hoops goal for Oh Hyeon-gyu and a Matt O’Riley strike.
Mark O’Hara scored a consolation goal for the visitors and afterwards, when asked what he would say to any Celtic fans who might be concerned, the Hoops boss referred to his usual way of dealing with speculation.
“I don’t think I need to say anything to them,” said Postecoglou, who revealed top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi will go for a scan on a shoulder injury after he was replaced by Liel Abada in the first half.
“I think what the supporters want is to make sure I’m focused on preparing the team every week to win games of football and to play football that’s going to excite them and make them proud. That’s my responsibility.
“I get the excitement round things like that. If I had a player in a similar boat I’d just tell him, ‘keep playing your football and don’t worry about anything else, all those kinds of things are just noise’.
“I take my own advice on stuff like that. I’ve been around the game long enough to know how quickly it changes.
“If anyone thinks for the last seven days I’ve thought about anything but preparing the team to play today then obviously they haven’t got a clear idea of what I’m about.”
On Furuhashi, who suffered a shoulder problem last season, Postecoglou said: “I’m not really sure. It is a shoulder. He had a similar problem last year and talking to the medical team, we will scan it on Monday and see what the issue is.
“With Kyogo he is a quick healer and knowing him he will try to train tomorrow.
“We have to be careful with him. We will wait and see what the extent of the injury is and sort of map out a recovery plan for him.”
St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson noted that three substitutes turned the game firmly Celtic’s way, after his side had made a decent fist of the match.
He said: “For 75 minutes there was nothing between the teams, which is the greatest credit I can pay to my players.
“They bring on three players and score four goals. That shows the level of quality they’ve got.
“We made one mistake first half, limited them to very few opportunities, and got punished for that mistake.
“The decision (penalty) in 75 minutes changes the game completely.
“Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong decision, I don’t know. We don’t have an analyst here.
“After that, they’re a hard enough side to play against with 11 and they open us up.
“Credit to our players, they had a real go. It’s hard for me to ask any more of the players.
“We kept taking the game to Celtic, kept pressing them but the game changed after 75 minutes.
“They have top players who came on and changed the game for them.”