ANGE POSTECOGLOU is convinced Australia international midfielder Aaron Mooy “will be a big contributor” for Celtic.
The Hoops face eight games in 24 hectic days before the break for the World Cup Finals in Qatar next month.
The champions go into a crucial sequence of matches – starting tonight in the Premier Sports League Cup quarter-final against Motherwell at Fir Park – without the inspirational qualities of skipper Callum McGregor who is ruled out with a knee problem after hirpling off before half-time in the 3-1 Champions League loss to RB Leipzig in Germany a fortnight ago.
MOOY’S THE BHOY…Aussie midfielder Aaron Mooy is ready to play a key role for the Hoops.
Mooy’s summer arrival as a free transfer on a two-year deal has added depth to the middle of the park with Oliver Abildgaard also ready to play his part after his season-long loan move from Rubin Kazan.
Postecoglou said: “Aaron missed pre-season, but he also hadn’t played a competitive club match since January.
“The only competitive games had been with Australia, so it was totally different for him, especially with how we want to play.
“We knew it would take time for Aaron, but I know the player well and I know the person. I was always confident he would find his feet from a physical perspective.
“The talent is there and the technical ability is there, so he just had to get up to speed. Aaron will be a big contributor for us.”
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE…Aaron Mooy and Kyogo Furuhashi in training at Lennoxtown.
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I never expected guys like Aaron and Oliver to come in without a pre-season and be ready to go.
“There was always going to be a period of time for them to get ready.”
Mooy, who turned 32 last month, looked a lot more settled in the Hoops line-up in the 6-1 romp against Hibs at Parkhead on Saturday.
The one-time St Mirren star set up James Forrest’s third goal – his 100th for the club – with a neat angle pass and he provided the cross from which Daizen Maeda knocked in No.6 past a bemused David Marshall.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Motherwell v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.