THE BAD NEWS is that fans’ favourite Filipe Jota has no chance of playing against Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow.
THE GOOD NEWS is that the flamboyant Portuguese winger could make his return in the Champions League Group F encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk at Parkhead on Tuesday night.
Central defenders Carl Starfelt and Stephen Welsh remain out through injury, but when asked about the former Benfica star’s timeline to return, Ange Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports, answered: “The guys closest are Jota and Turnbull coming back, but with the team travelling well and being able to rotate there is no point rushing them.
MISSING IN ACTION…Filipe Jota in his last game against St Johnstone in Perth before his first-half injury.
“We’ve got some important games coming up, so they should be available next week at some point. The rest of the squad came through Wednesday well, so we’ll have quite a strong line-up tomorrow.”
Quizzed again about the likelihood of Jota facing the Ukrainians, the Hoops boss said: “Yeah, a chance, but again we don’t want to rush him back, we’ll gauge by how he is going.
“He is training, he’s away from the main group, we’ll integrate him into team training some point next week.”
The champions go into tomorrow’s confrontation on the back of netting 10 goals in their past two games with six players doing the damage – James Forrest (3), Giorgos Giakoumakis (2), Liel Abada (2), Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi.
Hibs were walloped 6-1 in the Premiership at Parkhead last weekend and Motherwell were downed 4-0 in the Premier Sports League quarter-final at Fir Park on Wednesday.
CELTIC VIEW…Ange Postecoglou speaks before tomorrow’s match against Hearts at Tynecastle.
Ahead of the trip to the capital, it was put to Postecoglou that Hearts gaffer Robbie Neilson had admitted it was difficult to compete with the “big two in Scotland.”
The Greek-Australian manager added: “I guess every coach has got their own approach. I think in Scotland there is a real fascination with putting the two teams together and not identify that they are two different types of teams, but if that’s the way he wants to approach it that’s up to him.
“Other managers approach it differently. I think from our perspective we make sure we treat every opponent the same way.
“I’m sort of saying we want to play a style of play regardless of who we are playing again. That is our identity. It’s about talking ourselves up or talking ourselves down, it’s about having an identity and believing in ourselves.
“That is where our beliefs lie. It’s not about just talking about our targets, it’s about having an identity and making it work.”