How Sunderland and Leeds United missed out on Tottenham's ex-Celtic treble winner

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Ange Postecoglou could have managed Sunderland had it not been for Martin Bain.

Former Sunderland, Leeds United and Newcastle United striker Michael Bridges has once again told the story of how his former clubs rejected Ange Postecoglou.

The Australian enjoyed a superb stint in Asia before taking the Celtic job in Scotland and winning a domestic treble. Tottenham and the Premier League came calling this summer with the manager's stock on the rise.

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“I was trying to get Ange to Sunderland Football Club or Leeds United as the manager and it was so interesting to hear how many people say that they’d never heard of the guy because he’d been in Asia doing things or they didn’t think he would have the pedigree to do it," Bridges said of Postecoglou on The Optus Sport Football Podcast.

“I was so gutted. I was looking for somebody to replace Bielsa at Leeds with a similar style of play, but with a man-management skill that goes with it. He missed out at Sunderland with Coleman, that was close there.”

“I was just delighted when he got the Celtic job. Now I got loads of mates saying, ‘Oh God, who’s this guy? What’s he gonna do?’ And I remember texting my mates saying, ‘You guys will win everything under this man. He will have your club up and running once again.’ And I was absolutely delighted to see him do so well.”

Bridges says he told Sunderland to appoint Tottenham's new boss Ange Postecoglou as manager in 2017. However, Martin Bain decided against the move and moved to sign Chris Coleman to the role.

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Bridges told the GegenPod Football Podcast back in 2022: "You've got to look at Ange Postecoglu and I still tell the story at Sunderland and I wanted Ange to get the Sunderland job before Chris Coleman did.

"I was speaking to Martin Bain about it and I said, 'Get this guy in, he'll change the culture of your club and he's a serial winner'. And his comments were that he's never heard of this guy.

"He's won the Asian Cup and that just shows you how much of a bubble people live in. But I'm delighted Ange has gone and broken the trend now. He's gone to Celtic and is at a massive club."

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