Celtic postpone Kilmarnock game for winter break

Celtic will take up their option for a winter mini-break. Picture: PA
Celtic will take up their option for a winter mini-break. Picture: PA
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CELTIC have taken up the option to postpone a match in January to have a mini-winter break.

Kilmarnock’s visit to Parkhead has been moved back to a midweek date, meaning Celtic will not play between January 5 and 18.

A statement from the league read: “The Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock, scheduled for Saturday January 11, has been rearranged for Wednesday January 29 after the SPFL board agreed to a request from Celtic.”

Premiership clubs agreed in June last year that they would be able to postpone games on January 11 or 18 if they wished, in the absence of a winter break.

Celtic did not look in need of a rest when they tore Hearts apart in a 7-0 William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round triumph on Sunday.

First-team coach Danny McGrain has seen and been involved in a number of classic Celtic displays and he watched in admiration as Neil Lennon’s side raced to a five-goal half-time lead.

McGrain said: “Everything just seemed to go right, everything was well-oiled and everyone seemed to be on the same wavelength, playing the ball and keeping the ball. It was just a great 90 minutes.

“The manager was happy with the first 45 minutes. Sometimes the tempo can drop a bit in the second half but we picked it up again and scored two good goals. Hearts could not keep pace with us and we just ran over them.”

The performance, which Lennon described as his best in 200 matches in charge, was the perfect response to Celtic’s 3-0 midweek defeat by AC Milan, which ensured they would have no European football after Christmas.

McGrain said: “The manager said that before the game, you are either up for it or you are not up for it. And the players proved they were up for it. Obviously we got a good start but they kept it going with 90 minutes of pure, utter skill.”