ANGE POSTECOGLOU has refused to write off any of his first-team squad although a few are predicted to move in the January sales.
Swiss striker Albian Ajeti and Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, bought for a joint £9.5million by ex-boss Neil Lennon last summer, have flopped since their arrival.
The former West Ham frontman has netted a meagre total of nine goals while the ex-AEK Athens netminder has failed to convince from day one and has made a solitary appearance in the top side this season, the Champions League qualifier against FC Midtjylland where his howler allowed the Danes an equaliser in the costly 1-1 draw in Glasgow in July.
Ajeti and Barkas have been tipped to leave on permanent or temporary moves – defender Osaze Urhoghide and midfielder Liam Shaw, who arrived from Sheffield Wednesday in June, are two other who appear to be on the brink of an exit.
However, Postecoglou insists nothing is clear-cut at the moment and has left the door open for fringe players to impress him.
The Greek-Australian gaffer said: “No-one needs to convince me. How they present themselves every day is all I need.
“Whilst everyone sees the end product on a game day, what we do in training is vital to our football and that only happens if everyone is contributing in training, the ones who are playing and the ones who aren’t.
“They’re still representatives of this football club and they’re still contributing to what we are doing.
“Everyone wants to play and people are disappointed when they don’t, but, ultimately, you have an obligation and a responsibility to come here every day and be the best you can be.”
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “All the guys in the squad at the moment are doing that.
“There’s no-one who I feel isn’t putting in or showing signs of disenchantment from the point of view of not wanting to contribute.
“At the same time, if there ever comes a point where people feel this is not the place for them, then I’m happy to have that conversation and we will do what’s best for this football club.”
Ajeti is likely to be at least on the substitutes’ bench for the Premier Sports League Cup semi-final against holders St Johnstone at Hampden tomorrow evening with a 5.15pm kick-off.
Greek frontman Giorgos Giakoumakis is out of the meeting with the Perth side as he attempts to overcome a knee injury sustained in the 4-2 win over Dundee at Dens Park before the World Cup break, as CQN reported yesterday.
Postecoglou, though, is relieved none of his stars have returned from international action with an injury problem which means Japanese raider Kyogo Furuhashi, who claimed his 13th goal for the Hoops on Tayside, will lead the attack.