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JOZO, CELTIC’S TROPHY HUNTER

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JOZO SIMUNOVIC missed out on Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach through injury – but the Croatian defender is poised to return to action for Celtic tomorrow.

The smooth back-four operator has the chance to come in and partner Erik Sviatchenko in the middle of the rearguard with Mikael Lustig moving again to right-back as Brendan Rodgers shuffles the pack again.

Inverness Caley Thistle are at Parkhead and the Hoops will want to atone for their two dropped points in the Highlands earlier in the campaign with Richie Foran’s outfit the only Scottish side they have failed to beat this season.

A stoppage-time goal from Alex Fisher gave the Caley Jags a 2-2 draw in a game dominated by the visitors who came up against an inspirational keeper in Owain Fon Williams and also hit the woodwork twice.

However, the champions have been almost unstoppable in the league, soaring to a nine-point lead with a game in hand after only 10 games. Following the stalemate at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in September, the Hoops have gone on to win the following seven domestic matches, conceding just one goal and scoring 17.

Simunovic, who came on as a sub against Caley, is confident the team will take all three points against the Highlanders this time and use the game as a springboard for success for the rest of the season.

He added: “The hopes are to take everything we can. Everything is possible for us, but the only way we can do that is by going match by match.

“We have a lot of opportunities. We have two Cups, the Premiership and the Champions League, which is a higher level, but we need to use this year, especially in that competition, to be prepared for next year.

“We have a young team, but in the league, if we can take that and the other two trophies, why not? But that can only happen if we go game by game. You can’t look ahead one month because you’ll lose focus. I’m sure we can take everything.”

Simonovic also believes Rodgers is getting the best out of his squad and said: “That’s very important because there are a lot of games this season and the gaffer needs to rotate the team.

“Everybody needs to be focused and ready for when he gives you a chance. We proved that in our game against Ross County and we just need to keep going.

“The most important thing is that whoever plays, they give 100 per cent and they are strong for the team. You have to want to prove yourself and show you deserve to start. That’s the only way to do it and we are all that way just now.

“Of course, I believe that, but all players should believe that. If you don’t believe you’ve got what it takes, then you’re in the wrong place. Believing is important. Never give up, especially when you don’t play, because you never know when a chance will come and you need to be ready to take it.”

 
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