Celtic midfielder James McCarthy "training well" after injury return

By David Walton

October 27, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has stated that Celtic midfielder James McCarthy has been “training well” after making his return to the Parkhead fold.

McCarthy had come in for criticism for both his fitness levels and his on-field performances last month. He then picked up another frustrating knock that ruled him out of the game against Ferencvaros.

Interestingly however, despite returning to training last week, the Republic of Ireland international didn’t make the squad for the 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday despite being available for selection.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

And as he spoke about his squad options, Postecoglou took a brief moment to acknowledge McCarthy as he stated his situation is now all about waiting for a moment to be thrown back into the mix.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Postecoglou said: “It’s always good to get some game time into Giorgos Giakoumakis and Josip Juranovic, who obviously have missed a bit recently.

“James McCarthy is training well too. It’s just a matter of finding the right opportunity for him.”

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What does the right opportunity look like for Celtic midfielder James McCarthy?

Many will still have gripes over this one, but McCarthy is here for the long-term. He penned a 4-year contract in the summer. Whether that was a wise move or not will depend on how the next 12 months to 2 years goes first and foremost. But it hasn’t been a good start.

Over 3 months into his Celtic career, McCarthy wouldn’t have expected to only be sitting on 8 appearances and only 3 starts [Transfermarkt]. Especially for a player that said he was in his prime immediately after signing [Daily Record].

Now, however, he’s well out of the picture. Nobody is talking about when he’ll return to the fold, and that’s a problem. It simply stems from the fact he hasn’t made any sort of impression on the club’s supporters.

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Looking at Celtic’s fixture list, it’s clear what Postecoglou wants to do. He’ll be looking for one of the kinder-looking matches to give James an opportunity again.

Don’t be expecting him to make an appearance against Hibs at Easter Road tonight. That flies in the face of any sort of logic. Not unless he’s called into action from the bench due to injury knocks or unless we start running away with the game.

For now, however, it’s a case of being patient. Livingston at home on Saturday could give him the opportunity he’s waiting on. One thing’s for sure, whenever he gets it he’ll need to make it count.

In other news, Chris Jullien posts fresh Celtic training image on Instagram