Celtic boss insists injury list isn't unusual for him; lists key factor

By Euan Davidson

December 14, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has given some insight on his thoughts over the injury situation at the club. And, he said the club have been playing “catch-up” fitness wise since pre-season.

The Bhoys boss has faced criticism over his style. Espcially with the injuries that have built up over the last few weeks. Kyogo, Albian Ajeti, James McCarthy, Anthony Ralston, James Forrest, Jota and more have pulled up in recent games.

However, Postecoglou has aimed to dispel any myths about the style of training. He says it’s quite normal for clubs he takes over to have short-term injury concerns. What’s more, he said he isn’t going to change a thing.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Celtic boss said [Celtic FC]:

“What I can tell you is that this [injury] experience we’re having here is not unusual for me in my first year at any club I’ve had.

“I think people sometimes misinterpret when I say that we train hard. That we’ve got them out here running through the hills of Lennoxtown endlessly, with 20 kilograms of weights on their back. It’s not what we’re doing.

“What people also have to appreciate is that, for any team, pre-season is a really important part of what you do. We just didn’t have any of these guys at pre-season, for any significant time, we had internationals who were away. Signings who came late in the piece. Guys who came back who were injured pre-season. We’ve been playing catch up ever since.

“To try and explain to people the logic, when it looks illogical what I’m doing, is that what I’ve always resisted… to adjust the game style for people aren’t ready for it. I just don’t work that way. We go hard from when I take over, and we keep going hard right until the end. Along that way… some players are going to struggle with it, I think it’s only logical.”

Rogic soars again, as Celtic are set Bodo/Glimt challenge | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

Rogic soars again, as Celtic are set Bodo/Glimt challenge | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou suggests injury list is par for the course

In fairness, he’s right; firstly that pre-season was hectic to say the absolute least.

Celtic brought in 12 new players, most of whom joined at the tail end of the summer. There are plenty in Postecoglou’s best XI who didn’t feature at all in Wales, against Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and others. That’s an obvious risk factor.

It’s not an excuse, it’s a reason. As for his style, we can’t complain if it gets us results. Over the last few months in particular, that’s exactly what we’ve had.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

There are risks to a high-intensity, high-pressing game. Until players have the requisite fitness to play that way for an entire campaign, Celtic will have injury concerns. That’s how it goes, and likely always will. But Postecoglou changing the pace of his team to lessen that woe just isn’t going to happen.

It’s happened at other clubs, too. Liverpool, under Klopp, had real injury build-up when the German took over in 2016. He was criticised by Sam Allardyce [Guardian]. Whose mantlepiece has more silverware, do you reckon?

Until the fitness of the Celtic players isn’t still affected by the lack of a pre-season, it’s an approach that remains high risk. But it’s also high reward.

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