Training progress update on Tomoki Iwata and Hyeongyu Oh; when they might start for Celtic

By John McGinley

February 3, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is pleased with the training progress of Tomoki Iwata and Hyeongyu Oh, as they ramp up to making their first starts for the club.

Both players have already featured off the bench in recent matches but as with most signings this season, Postecoglou is warming them up to a full debut.

The Bhoys boss reckons Oh is still a couple of weeks away from that landmark, but it sounds as if Iwata is edging closer to being named in a starting eleven.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou delivers update on new Celtic signings

Speaking in a media conference today, Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]: “They are still settling in. Iwata has been here a bit longer and he is not far off. Certainly with Oh, he will probably still take a couple of weeks to get up to speed.

“How close they are to starting is not just dependent on their fitness. As I said before it depends on where we are at as a team and what I think is required. There is no doubt that Oh is not ready to start games yet. Tomoki is pretty close. It just comes down to selection then.

“I’m really pleased with both of them. They have settled in really well and the group has brought them into the fold. I can see from training every day that they are getting used to the way we train and the way we play. From an all-round perspective, the squad is in a really good space.”

Potential starting dates for Tomoki Iwata and Hyeongyu Oh

It seems neither will be in the starting line-up for this Sunday’s game at St Johnstone but based on these comments we definitely could see both in contention to start at home to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup on February 11th.

The Paisley side are no pushovers so Postecoglou won’t be taking risks with the team. However, the fact remains that players such as Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor have been playing a lot of football of late.

If Oh doesn’t quite make that one then the Scottish Premiership fixture at home to Aberdeen on February 18th, a week ahead of a massive Scottish League Cup final against Rangers. That could be a prime time to give Kyogo a rest.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou credits Celtic coach for helping Daizen Maeda improve.