REO HATATE has revealed he will strive to emulate his breathtaking derby day performance when he blew away Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox visitors with a pulverising performance.
The Japanese new Bhoy flattened the shell-shocked opponents with two superb goals while setting up a third for Liel Abada as Celtic raced to a 3-0 interval advantage.
The scoring ended there on an evening Parkhead rocked to its foundations as the team went to the top of the Premiership for the first time since August 2020.
NUMBER ONE…Reo Hatate flashes in the opener with the Ibrox side’s Amad Diallo too late to intercept.
NUMBER TWO…Reo Hatate prepares to curl an effort round Connor Goldson on its way into the net.
Ange Postecoglou’s men didn’t look back after that runaway triumph on February 2 and remained in pole position as they picked up their tenth title in 11 years.
Hatate is hoping to stage a few action replays as he prepares for the new campaign after getting his first break in a year and a half after playing his part in Kawasaki Frontale’s J-League championship win in Japan before his move to Scotland.
The all-action 24-year-old midfielder reflected on his derby debut display and said: “That became my standard to play. I know it is not easy to perform like that in every game, but I try my best to be as close to that standard as I can.”
Understandably in the circumstances, Hatate admitted to feeling jaded in the run-in to the season, but he enjoyed his spell away as he recharged his batteries.
HAPPY DAZE…Celtic’s Japanese stars Yosuke Ideguchi, Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda celebrate the title triumph.
The Japanese international, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “During my time off I took some rest and did individual things away from football. It was important to be refreshed emotionally. I spent time with my family and people important to me. During the holidays I didn’t communicate with anybody.
“When I first arrived in Scotland, I didn’t have enough time to enjoy everything. For example, a few weeks ago I went to the beach at Ayr. I enjoyed it and I would like to have some more good times next season.”
Hatate arrived on Hogmanay at the same time as countrymen Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi to join up with fans’ favourite Kyogo Furuhashi who had arrived in a £4.6million switch from Vissel Kobe in July.
PICK IT OUT…Reo Hatate races away in delight after sending a long-range drive drive beyond ex-Celtic keeper Craig Gordon in the Hoops’ crucial 2-1 win over Hearts at Tynecastle in January.
The playmaker believes the quartet can make an even bigger impact in the forthcoming campaign and added: “Yes, we will help each other to contribute to the plan that is in place for us at Celtic.”
Hatate, who has one full cap, has already hit the ground running and scored a goal during his industrious 45-minute outing in the 7-0 win over Wiener Viktoria in Austria in midweek.
He is likely to be in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s match against Rapid Vienna and could be joined by Ideguchi, who played the entire 90 minutes against the Austrian Third Division outfit, and Kyogo and Maeda who were allowed a late start due to international commitments during the summer.