Ange Postecoglou hoping Celtic can reap rewards of fitness drive

Celtic supervisor Ange Postecoglou hopes his long-term health plan will give his facet an edge when video games go to the wire throughout the title run-in.

Postecoglou has devised a coaching programme to focus on peak health for his gamers throughout the season finale.

The Hoops have been examined in current weeks, needing an 86th-minute winner to beat Dundee earlier than being held to a goalless draw by Hibernian and solely getting a two-goal cushion towards St Mirren with 9 minutes left.

They face one other troublesome process on Sunday towards a Livingston facet who’ve saved two clear sheets towards Celtic this season and beat Postecoglou’s facet in West Lothian in September.

Postecoglou mentioned: “I mentioned some time again that the entire thought is that we’re at our strongest on the finish of the season moderately than simply making an attempt to carry on.

“We handle our programme that means and we try to get the gamers to be in the very best situation for crucial a part of the 12 months. In concept that’s how we wish it to work.

“January was good for us by way of the gamers we introduced in allowed us to rotate the squad a bit, which implies now we have received a extremely wholesome group other than Dave (Turnbull) and Kyogo (Furuhashi), who’re out injured. Everybody else is in good situation.

“It allowed me to not over-burden people, which we actually struggled with within the first half of the season, which I believe is why we received so many accidents. We haven’t had that within the second a part of the season.

“That means we will put some work into them in coaching, some bodily work as effectively, we will be actually robust for that final a part of the 12 months, which I believe we should be.

“You have seen with all of the video games, they’re actually tight, and a variety of the video games are getting determined late. Us being robust bodily goes to be essential for that.”

Celtic could have eight days till their subsequent sport after Sunday’s journey to the Tony Macaroni Arena and the upcoming worldwide break will give Postecoglou additional likelihood to situation his squad.

“When you map out the season you type of have a look at that final worldwide break because the deep breath earlier than you go for the end line,” he mentioned.

“The complete plan is to get to the worldwide break, take inventory of all the things after which, with hopefully a fully-fit squad, actually go for it on the finish.

“That’s the idea, the practicalities of it and the truth of it we are going to see because it unfolds.”

Celtic struggled to create clear-cut probabilities of their two video games towards Livi this season earlier than Giorgos Giakoumakis noticed a stoppage-time penalty saved within the goalless draw at Parkhead.

But David Martindale’s facet have collected 17 factors within the league for the reason that winter break, which was greater than any staff apart from Celtic going into the weekend, and Postecoglou warned they’ll pose a menace going ahead too.

“It’s under-playing them just a little bit to say that Livingston will simply frustrate us,” he mentioned. “If you have a look at their current type, they’ve some attacking threats as effectively.

“David has accomplished an incredible job, they’ve grown into the season and, for them to be within the place they’re, I believe they’ll take it a variety of confidence. I believe they’ll have a go at us as effectively and now we have received to be prepared for that.

“From my perspective it’s about sustaining the disciplines now we have had round our sport plan and taking part in our soccer and discovering options inside that.

“That’s received to be our focus. As a lot as you respect the opposition and what they bring about to the desk, what we all know is that once we play our soccer and are actually convincing in that, we’re laborious to cease and that’s what we’re going to try to do on Sunday.”

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