CROCKED Reo Hatate is OUT of Celtic’s meeting with Michael Beale’s Ibrox side at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.
Ange Postecoglou brought the guessing game to an end when he revealed the inspirational Japanese midfielder wouldn’t make his squad for the game where a win will push the champions 12 points clear at the top with seven games to play.
Hatate has played only 13 minutes of the previous two games against Hibs and Ross County and the manager will not take risks on the fitness of the player, as CQN stated earlier today.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Ange Postecoglou consoles Reo Hatate as he comes off early in a game.
Aaron Mooy, who hasn’t appeared since scoring the opener in the 3-0 Scottish Cup success over Hearts at Tynecastle a month ago, is back in contention after training at Lennoxtown during the week.
Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “Reo hasn’t come up, but Aaron is fine, so from last week, the only change is Aaron’s available.
“It is disappointing for Reo more than anything, he loves playing these games, he’s had an impact every time he has.
“You get disappointed for the player and you want everyone available, but from a team perspective, we have depth in that area.”
Greg Taylor will be in the squad as he continues to improve after being removed around the hour mark in the 2-0 win in Dingwall on Sunday.
The left-back is fighting for full fitness, but Postecoglou is satisfied with his back-up defender Alexandro Bernabei who claimed the second goal in the victory in the Highlands.
The question now, though, is who will get Hatate’s midfield berth alongside Callum McGregor and, possibly, Mooy.
Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull and Tomoki Iwata are the players in contention. All will be revealed tomorrow morning!