Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou eases Reo Hatate concerns

By Dave Flanigan

July 14, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has eased any concerns regarding Reo Hatate’s absence from Wednesday’s friendly win over Banik Ostrava.

The Japan international missed the 4-2 victory, the match marking the Czech club’s centenary celebrations, but as reported by Football Scotland, Postecoglou confirmed that Hatate’s injury was only minor.

The Australian said: “He had a slight knock. He played both games and the decision was made to leave him out and he will train again on Friday for Saturday.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Confirmation that the 24 year old’s absence will only be brief will come as welcome news for Celtic fans with Hatate quickly becoming a firm favourite following his January move from Kawasaki Frontale.

The midfielder will look to build on a stellar first six months in Scotland, bookending a hectic two years of almost non-stop football.

He recently enjoyed a well-earned summer break, during which he was met with a rapturous reception when he returned to his former club during the off season to bid farewell to the club’s supporters.

Despite looking physically fatigued towards the end of the season, Hatate’s quality was evident and his influence immediate, playing a starring role in arguably the most memorable game of Postecoglou’s reign so far; Celtic’s 3-0 Glasgow derby demolition of Rangers.

With fierce competition in Celtic’s midfield following the full recoveries of Yosuke Ideguchi and David Turnbull from injury and Matt O’Riley’s emergence as Tom Rogic’s obvious successor, Hatate will hope to hit the ground running when the new season commences proper to fully cement his place in Celtic’s side.

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