JOZO SIMUNOVIC has pleased with Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers to let him shut out Aberdeen in the Betfred League Cup Final this afternoon.

The Croatian central defender has been used sparingly since his comeback from an eight-month knee injury lay-off, with the Hoops gaffer reluctant to play him more than once a week.

But, after finally making his Champions League group stages debut against Barcelona on Wednesday night 15 months from signing from Dinamo Zagreb, the 22-year-old wants the shackles removed. 

He said: “I feel strong for the Cup Final. I understand why the manager has taken me out of the team at times, but I am ready now to go in this game.

“I have been training normally with the team. There are a lot of games and you have to be careful, but that’s normal.

“It has been case of building myself week after week.

“We have a tight schedule now with so many games in December, but then we have the break in January and it will be easier.

“But there is nothing to worry about now. The gaffer just wanted to give me some rest.

“I have told the boss that I am ready to play in every game, though. We speak all the time and we always decide things together.”

Simunovic won three league titles, a Croatian Cup and Croatian Super Cup with Dinamo Zagreb, but he has his sights set high in Scotland.

He added: “I have won a lot of trophies before, but there is no doubt when you play a match for a trophy it is special and it is something I really want on Sunday.

“The target was always to win all three trophies this season, but it would amazing to start with this one.”

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