ANGE POSTECOGLOU insists there will be no rebound on Celtic after the disappointment suffered by Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate following their World Cup Finals omission.
The Japanese double-act saw their dreams of playing for their country in the soccer showpiece in Qatar shattered when head coach Hajime Moriyasu announced his 26-player pool for the Finals.
Kyogo and Hatate were both overlooked, but Hoops team-mate Daizen Maeda got the nod to join the pool with the tournament poised to kick off with the opening game between the hosts and Ecuador on November 20. The grand finale is due on December 18.
CELTIC VIEWS…Ange Postecoglou talks to the media before tonight’s game in Madrid.
Postecoglou admitted he is disappointed for the prolific hitman, the club’s top scorer last season with 20 strikes, and midfielder Hatate, who has hit the ground running since his arrival at the turn of the year.
With Kyogo now 27 and Hatate 24, the Greek-Australian gaffer is convinced they can still make it to the game’s global extravaganza at some stage in the future.
As he prepared for the final Champions League Group F encounter against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu this evening, the Celtic boss said: “Nothing is going to stop Reo from being the best footballer he can be. Kyogo, his nature never changes, he is always smiling, always happy.
“He loves what he does and that won’t change, but it is good motivation for them. They both have a World Cup in them if they miss out on this one.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his goal against Livingston at the weekend with Sead Haksabanovic joining in.
“The World Cup, and I was fortunate to be a manager at one, is one of those tournaments which is a dream to get to.
“They both would have been very close to getting there, particularly Kyogo. I am disappointed for them because Reo probably has one or two cycles of World Cups to potentially go to.
“Kyogo, at his age, still has one in him. But you want to take these opportunities. Both are really strong characters. Of course, they will be disappointed. My experience is they will have probably got wind of it a few days ago. It is rarely a shock.
“Usually somebody within the organisation would have notified them. It will motivate them to ensure they play their football to the best of their ability and those opportunities will come again.”
Both could still be on Moriyasu’s reserve list in case of his injuries to squad members and Postecoglou said: “There is always that they can change it. Kyogo is probably on that list.
“Whether they call him up, you don’t know.”
HOLD ON…Reo Hatate’s progress is hindered by the attentions of Livingston’s Andrew Shinnie.
Postecoglou doesn’t accept that the champions will actually benefit from the players’ no-show in the Middle East where there is always the risk of injury or fatigue.
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I don’t see it that way. Going to a World Cup is an unbelievable experience.
“I was fortunate enough to have that. And you come back, feeling better about yourself. It would have been great for them to be there.
“It is great that Diazen’s there. He’ll come back much more confident, not that he isn’t confident.
“It’s like the Champions League. You play at a World Cup and you just feel the growth, feel different about yourself because you have experienced football at its very best.”
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