'Maybe your family won't recognise you' - Celtic's Josip Juranovic on what could be ahead for club

Celtic could face a dizzying 18 games across the next eight weeks.

Celtic defender Josip Juranovic will embrace whatever the club's schedule throws up because games across as many competitions as possible are why players "love" the sport.(Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic defender Josip Juranovic will embrace whatever the club's schedule throws up because games across as many competitions as possible are why players "love" the sport.(Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Their campaign re-activates post-winter break with the hosting of Hibs at Celtic Park on Monday. A games-glut would be set-up by negotiating two rounds of the Scottish Cup – the first away to Alloa next Saturday – and seeing off Bodo/Glimt in the Conference League play-off next month. It would forgivable for any member of Ange Postecoglou’s side to be daunted by the exertions that could be required of them before the next international break in late March. Josip Juranovic only sees one potential downside, though. “If you want to be a big player you will play Europe and cups,” he said. “You will play so many games that maybe your family will not recognise you when you come home… but it’s because of that we love to play football. That’s our lives.”

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The fanaticism of the Celtic support is currently stoking the love for Juranovic, thrilled at the prospect of a full house on Monday after coivd restrictions were ended. It didn’t sit well with him that only 500 supporters - and no Celtic fans – watched the 3-1 win away to St Johnstone on Boxing Day. “Our fans were out of the stadium and I felt sorry for them,” he said. “They needed to be inside cheering, not out on the streets. They are our 12th player on the pitch and we are not the same without them. With them we are a really powerful team. I’m looking forward to hearing them, their songs, and seeing what they will do for us on Monday.”

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