Celtic medical staff happy with James McCarthy's individual training efforts
James McCarthy is waiting on the go-ahead from Ange Postecoglou before getting excited about his Celtic debut, but is already encouraged by his initial chats with the club’s medical staff.
McCarthy left Crystal Palace at the end of last season so hasn’t come through any structured pre-season plan.
However, the 30-year-old has been training on his own in an effort to be ready for the new season, knowing he’d be signing for a club.
He told journalists yesterday that included doing early morning training in secluded areas away from private eyes.
It’s set him up well to hit the ground running at Celtic, with the club’s staff happy with what they’ve seen at Lennoxtown already.
Speaking to The Scottish Daily Mail [07/08 print edition, page 112], McCarthy explained: “I don’t know if it’s this week, next week, two weeks. I just need to wait to see what the manager says.
“‘I know the medical staff here and have spoken to them quite a lot since I’ve signed. They have said they will make sure I am up to speed before anything.
“I have been training at Lennoxtown the last couple of days, so I feel good and they’re happy enough with what I’ve been doing away from the club. Now it’s just about when the manager is going to get me involved.”
McCarthy Celtic debut could come quickly
So far, Postecoglou has been very swift in using his new signings. Joe Hart, Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada and Carl Starfelt were all used on the back of a couple of training sessions or less.
McCarthy is in a slightly different situation given he has not been part of another team’s training, but his comments do bode well.
Coming off the bench either tomorrow or on Thursday night feels very likely. Midfielders Ismaila Soro and Callum McGregor have been putting in quite a shift in recent weeks and could do with a time out if McCarthy’s fitness allows.
Postecoglou was due to assess the Republic of Ireland international today at Lennoxtown as the squad prepare for the Dundee test.
In time, the hope will be the former Palace and Everton star can start regularly week-to-week. Patience may be required initially, but McCarthy seems desperate to get going.