Ange Postecoglou comments suggest changes to Celtic starting XI on the way

By John McGinley

March 6, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is ready to use the full depth of his squad over the next two matches against Hearts as the team returns to a mid-week to weekend schedule.

The Bhoys have had the relative luxury of just playing games at the weekend recently, allowing them extra time to train at Lennoxtown and recover between matches.

However, after an intense game against St Mirren on Sunday, Postecoglou could look to rotate a few players into his starting eleven on Wednesday night, with that huge cup clash coming on Saturday.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Asked whether new signings such as Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata and Hyeongyu Oh are in line for more game time, the manager made it clear in pre-match comments he will dip into the rest of his squad and others are also possible selections.

Postecoglou said [The Daily Record]: “They are available. We have got a strong squad, knock on wood everyone is fit and healthy. Since the break we have guys who, whether they are starting or not, are making big impacts on games. We are going to need that because we have three games in a week coming up, starting on Sunday with St Mirren and the Hearts back to back.

“A strong squad will help us navigate that and make sure our performance stays at a high level. It is not just those guys (Kobayashi, Iwata and Oh), guys like Haksabanovic, Abada, Tony Ralston, Bernabei are all fit and ready to go and they are good quality players for us. So we will put out a team on Sunday that we think can win then we will see what the wash up is and look to put out a good core of players again for midweek.

“We have 22 players who all want to play and all want to contribute. Having three games next week will allow us to utilise that as much as we can.”

Given Postecoglou named an unchanged starting eleven on Sunday, it stands to reason utilising the squad will come on Wednesday. We could also see other fringe players coming off the bench for game time in the second half.

I wouldn’t expect seven, eight or more adjustments to the team. Hearts’ visit to Celtic Park is still a hugely crucial match after all, but three or four don’t seem out the realms of possibility. It should be an interesting team announcement!

In other news, Ange Postecoglou makes promising Celtic transfer pledge.