Celtic boss explains why he keeps playing Reo Hatate despite fatigue issues

By David Walton

May 1, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has stated that he keeps exposing Reo Hatate to constant minutes in order to get him used to the “relentlessness” at Parkhead.

Japanese international Hatate started off brilliantly at Parkhead with impressive performances against Hearts and Rangers. However, despite making 19 appearances for the Hoops and bagging 7 direct goal contributions, his all-round performances have been inconsistent [Transfermarkt].

Many Celtic supporters understand why this is the case. Coming from a new culture and footballing environment can take some getting used to for certain individuals. However, despite his fatigue struggles which the player has already opened up on, Ange has continued to start the former Kawasaki Frontale man.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hatate has started all but one of his league fixtures at Celtic Park. But the manager believes keeping him involved will help him in the long term. As quoted by the Herald, Ange said: “To a certain extent [some may be feeling tired]. For them, Matty [O’Riley] is 21-years-old and for Reo this is his first sort of journey outside of his own country and it has new challenges.

“I have said all along that there is a relentlessness when you play for this football club and you can’t rest on what you did last week or even the last pass or the last action. It’s constant and it’s always there.

“But you are never going to build that into players if you shield them away from it. This year my thoughts were just to expose as many of our players to it as I could. Earlier in the year we were throwing guys in without even training and the expectations are still there, you have to perform.”

Celtic 1-1 Rangers | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 1-1 Rangers | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Reo Hatate will likely be rested once the Premiership title is won

It seems to be a simple case of trying to get Hatate to play through his struggles more than anything. To try and come out the other side of it and start performing once again.

However, undoubtedly, he was our least productive player on the pitch this afternoon. Reo again lose possession far too easily and will have been frustrated with how many attacking moves kept breaking down when the ball came to him.

He isn’t giving off enough confident vibes at the moment. Whenever he’s in possession it seems as though he’s itching to get rid of it. Why that is, goodness knows. But it does look as if both confidence and fatigue could be combining here.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Even so, Ange continues to expose him to the “relentlessness” of the Celtic first-team. You can understand that way of thinking. However, if we’re being honest, it’s also important to remember that we have the likes of David Turnbull and Matt O’Riley consistently awaiting minutes. Minutes that they’ll feel they deserve.

It’s unreasonable to expect Hatate to shoot back into life at this point. Not this season with only 3 fixtures remaining. Instead, it’s probably more important that he comes back in pre-season with a fresh mindset. Don’t be surprised if he’s rested as soon as the Premiership title has been won.

But regardless of what happens, he can still look back on his first 6 months at Parkhead with pride. Especially if he has a title medal to celebrate.

In other news, John Hartson tells Celtic supporters “it’s done” after watching rivals fail to win