ANGE POSTECOGLOU will make sure his Celtic stars who are not on international duty will not be allowed to relax over the next 10 days or so.
Skipper Callum McGregor, who will be involved in Scotland’s friendly match against Poland at Hampden on Thursday, will lead an exodus of top talent from the club this week.
A dozen players will be missing from Lennoxtown in the countdown to the crucial Premiership confrontation with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side at Ibrox a fortnight today.
However, the Hoops boss insists it will give him the opportunity to get a few of the remaining stars up to speed and admits there is the possibility of arranging a game during the international break.
Postecoglou said: “There’s a couple like Joe Hart and Cameron Carter-Vickers who we will just freshen up in the first week.
“We might try to arrange a bounce game, too, because there are a few who haven’t had a game for a while.
“We’ll get some meaningful minutes into those guys and some rest for the others.
“We have a dozen away plus a few younger players with the under-age national teams.
“But there will be plenty of players here we can get some work into over the next two weeks.
“The challenge for some of our lads is the travelling they have to do. We need to make sure when they come back they get a chance to recover.”
Postecoglou continued: “International football is good for our players.
“They get a lot out of it and come back feeling better and more confident.
“And it’s good they get away from the daily rituals we have here – it freshens things up for them.”
The Greek-Australian gaffer, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “The group has proven they are resilient and embrace challenges.
“We have one trophy and what that did was give us an appetite for more.
“We didn’t stop there and say: ‘Okay, we have the trophy in the bag. It doesn’t matter what happens now’.
“Most people would not have expected us to challenge for anything this year ,so you can take those things two ways.
“What the Cup win did for us was give us a real impetus and an appetite for more.
“Since then the players have tackled every challenge in front of them and, hopefully, we can win some more silverware.”
Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has been called into the Greece squad, prepared for a return to international football with a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Ross County as the team stretched their unbeaten domestic run to a remarkable 31 games.
Daizen Maeda, who will be with team-mate Reo Hatate for Japan’s World Cup qualifiers against Tom Rogic’s Australia and Vietnam, claimed the other strike against the Highlanders, his sixth since his Hogmanay arrival.
There will be no rest for Postecoglou’s men – at home or abroad.