Ange Postecoglou grants rare Celtic breather in bid to avoid 'falling over the line'

Ange Postecoglou has revealed his Celtic players were granted extra time off after Sunday’s Old Firm draw to ensure they can clinch the league crown in style and avoid 'falling over the line'.

Having preached a training mantra ‘we don’t stop’ in pre-season, his squad has followed it through with a relentless pursuit of the cinch Premiership title, but Postecoglou believes a pit-stop was required to see them through the final three SPFL games.

Reo Hatate recently claimed the campaign was catching up with him and his manager took action earlier this week to ensure the league leaders are raring to go against Hearts this weekend where a win would all-but seal top spot.

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“After last weekend's game [against Rangers] there was quite a bit of emotion and physical exertion, so we gave the boys a couple of days off to recover and refresh them a little bit,” he said. “They’re back training and looking forward to Saturday.

"It’s been a challenging year but we’re in the final straight now. We know that as a group we’ve got ten days together and you want to make the most of it.

“It’s a tricky one. You don’t want to think, ‘Let’s fall over the line and get it over and done with’. It’s important to enjoy this. The challenge is still before us, we haven’t accomplished what we want to. Enjoy it, be up for it. You don’t want it just to come to you.

“I’ve been pretty strong with the players. I want to win it playing our way. I want to finish it strong instead of hoping it happens and it’s over and done with.”

‘We Don’t Stop’ is also the tag-line of the club’s season ticket sales pitch and Postecoglou wants a win on Saturday not just to fulfil the aim of reclaiming the league trophy, but to entertain the home crowd too.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park, on May 01, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“Ultimately everything we do is for the supporters. After we’re long gone they’ll still be here, still supporting and you want to give them special moments,” he told Celtic TV.

“Hearts have had a good season – in the cup final and Europe next year. They will want a crack at us but we want to finish strong and play our best at the important part of the year.”

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