ANGE POSTECOGLOU has sent a tongue-in-cheek message to his Celtic players who are now involved with their respective countries on World Cup duty.

The Hoops’ next Premiership game is against Motherwel at Fir Park a week on Saturday and the Greek-Australian is hoping there are no injuries to contend with when his players return to club duty.

Top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi, who netted the opener in the 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie yesterday, came back from Japan’s 1-0 win over China with a knee problem that kept him on the sidelines for five games.

PITTODRIE CHEERLEADER…Ange Postecoglou applauds his battling Celts.

The new Parkhead gaffer has been beset with injuries to his squad since even before that start of the season with Mikey Johnston and Karamoko Dembele crocked in a warm-up encounter against Bristol City at Ashton Gate where the youngsters didn’t even last the first-half.

Christopher Jullien, of course, has been out since December 30 last year following knee surgery while Josip Juranovic, James Forrest and Greg Taylor are still recoving from knocks with skipper Callum McGregor just back for last week’s 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.

Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “The last break wasn’t really kind to me.

“I’ve said to the players: ‘If you get injured on international duty, don’t bother coming back’.

“The disruption we’ve gone through with injuries has made it really difficult for us. It’s crucial we get through the break without any other injuries.”

DOWN AND OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi holds his damaged knee during Japan’s World Cup meeting with China at the start of last month.

However, Postecoglou was more tan satisfied that his players dug out their first away domestic victory since beating St Johnstone 2-1 on February 14.

He added: “It was a tough game, it’s obviously a tough game to come and get three points.

“It was great character shown by the players to go for the winner rather than just settle for a point.

“I’m super happy for the players, they got their just rewards.”


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