Celtic boss says final decision on Joe Hart debut vs Jablonec will be made today

By David Walton

August 4, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has stated that he’ll make his final verdict on a potential debut for Joe Hart this afternoon.

Hart was officially signed by the Hoops alongside fellow ex-Premier League star James McCarthy yesterday. It’s a move that provided the club with a much-needed morale boost after some early-season on-field blows.

Celtic fans were also given a shock when it was confirmed that the Hoops had rushed Hart over to the Czech Republic with the rest of the first-team squad. McCarthy, meanwhile, will stay at home and meet the team afterward.

That’s heightened expectations for Hart to make his debut tomorrow afternoon. And Postecoglou has confirmed he’ll make that decision today once he’s had a look at the new man in training.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Postecoglou said: “In terms of Thursday, we’ll have a look at it. He only literally met the team last evening. He has been training though. He’s presented in good condition. He’ll have his first training session with the team this afternoon. I’ll make a decision after that.

“Look, I wouldn’t gave brought him in if I did not think he could contribute to the team. With Scotty and Barky in particular, I just think they had a really tough year last year.

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“Having someone like Joe around will help them as well because he’s a player who’s played at the highest level for a long time, he’s experienced the ups and downs of football and I think having an experienced player like him around will also assist those two.”

All roads point to Ange Postecoglou getting behind Joe Hart in Jablonec

Absolutely everything points towards Hart making his Celtic debut tomorrow night. It would make absolutely no sense for that not to be the case given everything that’s happened.

Celtic rushed Hart out to join them for their Europa League qualifier. Was that really necessarily if the plan was just to meet up with the squad? He could’ve simply stayed at home with McCarthy and waited until after the game.

There’s also no logical reason to play Vasilis Barkas or Scott Bain tomorrow night. Neither have managed to seize their opportunities so far. So why bother risking our Europa League hopes on either of them?

Then, to top it all off, you have Postecoglou praising his condition in training today. It’s clear that Hart is already making an impact behind-the-scenes. Being the leader that he is, he’ll be all for being handed the jersey tomorrow night.

There’s no reason for him not to be ready for it either. He’s been training in recent weeks with Spurs, so should still have a strong level of sharpness.

So whilst Postecoglou says he’s still to make his definitive verdict on it, we all know what’s coming. It all adds up to Hart being in between the sticks come kick-off tomorrow.

In other news, Davie Provan wants Celtic to improve communication with support; addresses Sunday protest