'No compromises' - Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou defiant over mounting hamstring injuries

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou refuses to consider possible alterations in the club’s training or playing style after Kyogo Furuhashi became the latest member of his squad to suffer a hamstring strain.

Kyogo Furuhashi became the latest Celtic player to suffer a hamstring injury in the 3-2 win over Real Betis. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Kyogo Furuhashi became the latest Celtic player to suffer a hamstring injury in the 3-2 win over Real Betis. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The loss of the Japanese striker during the 3-2 victory over Real Betis on Thursday means that no fewer than six players have suffered such muscle problems in the past two months. Postecoglou has yet to obtain the full prognosis on Furuhashi’s problem which he describes as a “concern” but “nothing too serious”, and seems likely to keep him out of Sunday’s hosting of Motherwell. But, even with Albian Ajeti also forced off in midweek with a hamstring issue to leave him without a recognised senior centre-forward, he believes any injury casualties require to be accepted as a trade-off for the intensity he seeks from his team.

“[The hamstring injuries] are obviously something we want to get on top of but it’s not new to me either,” the Celtic manager said. “The way we play I kind of understand, and have done at the clubs I’ve been at, that the beginnings are always difficult. We play differently and train differently and it takes players time to adjust to that and along the way we obviously pay a price. People forget that a lot of these guys didn’t do a pre-season with us and came in late and we’ve been playing catch up the whole way through.

“But the one thing I’ve never done, and I won’t do in my whole career, is compromise the football team we want to be because we are not quite ready to be there. I’d rather sort-of keep going at the pace we are going and it means we are going to have some casualties along the way and lose a few. But I still think, for us as a football team and club as we try to grow to be a certain type of side that plays a certain brand of football, it is just part of the process.

"You know, we’ll get better at making sure our players don’t pick up these kind of injuries, though the fixture scheduling makes it even more challenging. It is stuff we need to deal with and we will but we won’t compromise, and I won’t compromise, on the football we play, or the way we train because I know in the long-term that is going to give us the success we need.”

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