'Great breather, mate': Ange Postecoglou on his Celtic plans for January re-inforcements and winter break work
Christmas for many is a time for reflection, to take stock and take a break. Only some of that applies to the Celtic manager and there will be little rest for Ange Postecoglou.
Though the winter shutdown was brought forward and will begin after this afternoon’s early kick-off against St Johnstone, there will be little let-up for the Celtic manager with imminent arrivals expected from Japan and more assessments on a squad preparing to compete on three more fronts having won the first silverware of the season last weekend.
The Premier Sports Cup triumph was tempered by a midweek draw with St Mirren that saw Celtic slip further behind leaders Rangers who now hold a six-point advantage in defence of their Premiership title.
Therefore January – and the expedited week before – is no time for Postecoglou to take a breather.
“The breathing will involve trying to get new players in, assessing the staff, assessing the squad and seeing whether we move people in and out. We also need to make sure we have the right training schedule. So a great breather, mate!
“We are under no illusions. Assuming we want to have this schedule, where we are involved in so many competitions, if there is one thing the first half of the season has shown us it’s that we need a stronger squad.”
The fast-paced recruitment process following his summer arrival was a start – but still not enough. Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda are two widely reported to be on the verge of strengthening Postecoglou’s options, which have been affected recently by a spate of injuries as the punishing schedule caught up with many of his squad, but re-inforcements were always planned.
Now, with half a season under his belt in Glasgow, the manager is acutely aware of just what extra is needed with the league, Scottish Cup and Conference League still to come.
“It was never going to happen after one window. If anyone thought we were going to have a squad robust enough and with the quality to tackle what we want to tackle in one window then they were kidding themselves.
“We have work to do in this window and we have been working on that for quite a while. There is nothing that has changed last minute.”
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