Ange Postecoglou points to 'violin playing' as he reacts to Celtic v Rangers fixture change and possible Kyogo and Rogic absences

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou insists he won’t be lamenting the possible absence of key duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Tom Rogic from the rescheduled Old Firm match.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou looks on as his team drop two points in their Premiership fixture against St Mirren in Paisley on Wednesday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou looks on as his team drop two points in their Premiership fixture against St Mirren in Paisley on Wednesday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The SPFL’s decision to bring forward the winter break amid tightening Covid restrictions in Scotland and postpone two rounds of Premiership fixtures means Celtic’s home game against Rangers has been put back a month to February 2.

Furuhashi and Rogic are both set to be on World Cup qualifying duty that week with Japan and Australia respectively. But Postecoglou made it clear he has no intention of bemoaning that potential disruption to his plans.

"If they get called up they will be,” said Postecoglou. "There is a lot of violin playing around the place, we are not going to be one of them.

"I am very supportive of our club's stance (in calling for the break to be brought forward). It makes sense to me to use the natural break.

"I have said all along that fans are an integral part of this game. If having that break gives us a chance, without guarantees, to get them back in, it's much better. I don't like playing closed doors - fans are an important part home and away.”

Postecoglou also had no excuses for Celtic’s failure to make the most of their game in hand on Rangers in the title race as they were held 0-0 by St Mirren in Paisley. They are now six points behind the defending champions.

"We should have won the game,” he said. "We created enough chances and we dominated but we lacked quality in the final third to finish them off.

"It wasn't a night when everything went right for St Mirren because we did a lot wrong. It wasn't all good defending from them, it was also our own finishing.

"We had enough chances to win a few games. If you don't take them, that's what you get.

"It's not down to personnel. We had good chances for the guys out there to take them.

"We should have won and if we'd had more composure and people had been stronger in their intent, we would have done.”

Asked if the result underlined Celtic’s need to sign new players in January, Postecoglou replied: “Look, that’s been evident for a long time now, that we need a stronger squad. That’s not just tonight.

“That’s not why we didn’t win tonight, we should have won tonight, we had enough of the ball, we had enough possession, we had enough chances, irrespective of all the other factors.

“Even if we had won tonight it doesn’t stop the fact that at the moment we have got 11 guys who are injured. Any squad would have been challenged by that.

“But for me I still think we haven’t had enough quality in the squad to be able to rotate players through a heavy schedule. That isn’t surprising. It was always going to take more than one window to get the squad we wanted. That is logical. Tonight doesn’t change things.”

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