DANIEL ARZANI has been put under pressure to make an impact at Celtic – by Australian international coach Graham Arnold.
The Socceroos gaffer insists the on-loan Manchester City winger needs first-team football if he is to be considered for inclusion in his future squads.
Arnold has set a January deadline for the 20-year-old attacker, who played for his nation in the World Cup Finals in Russia last year, but has managed only TWENTY-TWO minutes for the Hoops since arriving on a temporary transfer from the Etihad giants in August last year.
Unfortunately, Arzani, who came on for Odsonne Edouard in the 57th minute, was stretchered off in the 79th minute during his one and only appearance for the champions when he came on as substitute in the 5-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park last October.
He was diagnosed with an ACL injury, but is now battling back to match fitness and is aiming to make a hit at club and country before his deal expires at the end of the season.
Oz chief Arnolad, speaking to Fox Sport, said: “Rene Meulensteen, my assistant, went up to Celtic and sat with Neil Lennon and they rate him highly.
“They love him. They think that he is a special player, but at the end of the day it’s all about getting those opportunities on the pitch and getting game time and I think that will come to the forefront over the next six months.
“It’s an important six months for Daniel before potentially the January transfer window that he gets game time.
“Celtic, obviously, are a strong club and have got a lot of depth. Daniel is under no illusions that he has to work extremely hard to get in that side.”
While Arzani was not considered for his country’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Nepal and Taiwan, the ex-Melbourne City star has been named in the squad to face Qatar as Australia’s Under-23s continue their preparations for January’s Olympic qualifiers in Thailand.
Arnold added: “Daniel’s in great shape. He’s happy, he’s feeling really good in himself, His body’s feeling great and they’ll be stepping it up at Celtic in that side of it.
“He’s going away with the Olyroos and he’ll get some game time there.”
LEROY FER has warned Rangers they will not cope with Feyenoord when they play at the De Kuip in their Europa League Group F game on November 28.
The Dutch beat Porto 2-0 in Rotterdam last night while Steven Gerrard’s side toppled to a last-gasp stoppage-time goal in Switzerland to Young Boys.
Feyenoord got off to a bad start at Ibrox a fortnight ago when they crashed 1-0 to a Sheyi Ojo strike, but they picked themselves up in front of their own support to beat the fancied Portiguese outfit.
Former Swansea City midfielder Fer, speaking in a report in the Daily Record, said: “What won us the game was the fans and the atmosphere inside De Kuip.
“When you see the stadium jumping like that, no-one can cope with it.
“We still have Rangers and Young Boys to come here and it will be the same. It gives us a massive advantage as you saw against Porto.
“Yes, Porto had a few chances, but we were clinical and that win has put us back in with a chance of qualifying.”
DEREK McINNES accepts Aberdeen’s 5-0 mauling from Rangers at Ibrox last weekend was “a humiliating experience”.
The Dons gaffer watched in horror as his injury-stricken outfit were taken apart in Glasgow and is demanding a response against Hibs at Pittodrie tomorrow afternoon.
McInnes, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “The last couple of results have been hard to take and you have to be honest with yourself and the players, it was a humiliating experience. It’s how you respond that is key.
“We need to show more personality and confidence than we did last weekend and we need to bring so much more to the game and, hopefully, we’ll see that on Saturday.
“We’ve spoken to the players about not letting any negativity affect them and we have an opportunity to cement fourth or better going into the international break.”