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‘SUPER COMPETITIVE,’ ANGE PRAISES SQUAD

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ANGE POSTECOGLOU reckons he has TWENTY-FIVE players who want to play their part in Celtic’s bid for a phenomenal domestic clean sweep.

The Hoops boss is preparing for this afternoon’s game against St Johnstone at Parkhead where a win will put them nine points ahead of Rangers, who play St Mirren in Paisley tomorrow, with only five matches to go.

The Premier Sports League Cup was claimed with a thrilling 2-1 win over Hibs at Hampden in December and there is a Scottish Cup semi-final against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox men to be overcome a week tomorrow.

Postecoglou admits he is spoiled for choice with the crocked James Forrest the only notable absentee for the visit of the relegation-threatened Perth club.

The Hoops boss said: “The behaviour of the players hasn’t really changed, even preceding last week.

UP IN ARMS…Ange Postecoglou acknowledges the Celtic fans after another victory.

“I’ve said all along we know what our process is and what we need to do every week.

“Every game is a challenge and has a bit of an edge to it, particularly when you get to the end of the season.

“For me, the indicator is training and it’s been super competitive and they all want to play with all thoughts on preparing themselves to be ready for the game.

“I’ve got 25 guys who are desperate to play and be involved and contribute, so you can’t roll up to training and think about any job being done.

“I’ve consistently said I want us to play our best football at this time of the year, irrespective of who we are up against, and if any kind of other thinking creeps into anybody then they will get left behind, but at this point in time no-one is doing that.”

Looking at his squad, Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “This is the healthiest we’ve been all year in terms of players being in a position to play. That’s great for us because it maintains our training level and focus.

 

IT TAKES TWO…new Bhoys Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda celebrate after the 3-0 win over Rangers in February.

“The January window was important for us to allow us to bolster the squad and share game-time and not rush guys back like Kyogo and David Turnbull, so going into the final stretch we’re in good shape.

“What you’ve seen in our season so far is that whenever we have needed people to step up and take the opportunity they have done that.

“The one undeniable factor is that it’s been a team effort. We haven’t had to rely on one person to an extent where missing them meant our form dipped.

“Leading into this final bit the key will be that we’ve got a strong and healthy squad who are ready to play and the contributions will come from everyone.”

Long-term absentee Kyogo Furuhashi is poised to make his comeback to play his first game this year after missing the previous 17 games.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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