ANGE POSTECOGLOU has paid tribute to the efforts of new chief executive Michael Nicholson as the Celtic boss prepares to plunge into the January transfer market.

The Parkhead gaffer is determined to add to the dozen recruits who arrived in the summer when the new window opens on Saturday.

And Postecoglou is confident the Hoops will hit the ground running in their pursuit of fresh players to strengthen a squad that requires extra bodies as the Greek-Australian continues to put his jigsaw together.
BEFORE THE SETBACK…David Turnbull strokes home for Celtic’s third goal in the 3-2 win over Real Betis on December 9 – just 10 days ajead of his injury problem against Hibs at Hampden. 
Scotland international David Turnbull is the latest to join the growing injury list with the news he could miss TWELVE games in the first nine weeks of 2022 after hobbling off before the half-hour mark in the 2-1 Premier Sports League Cup Final triumph over Hibs at Hampden.
Filipe Jota, who was on fire at the time, was similarly afflicted during the 1-0 Premiership win over Hearts at Parkhead on December 2 and has sat out the last seven matches with a hamstring problem.
Sixteen-goal top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi is also a concern and had to be replaced after only 15 minutes by teenage debutant Joey Dawson in Sunday’s 3-1 success over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. A hamstring strain kept the Japanese talisman out of the previous game, the scoreless stalemate against St Mirren in Paisley.
WHAM…Filipe Jota takes off as he slams in the opening goal in the 2-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park on October 16. The on-loan Benfica winger sat out the last seven games of 2021 with a hamstring injury.
Postecoglou is well aware he urgently requires acquisitions as early as possible to integrate them into the team’s preferred style of play and he has already been linked with a triple J-League swoop on Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi. There are also other names on his wanted list.
Work has been going on for several weeks to get the process moving as smoothly as possible with contracts, work permits and so on put in place.
The Celtic boss credited Nicholson, who was installed as Peter Lawwell’s permanent successor last week after the brief summer interlude concerning Dominic McKay, as as a main mover in steering the path to get the proposed deals over the line.
Postecoglou said: “We’ve been working really hard on this window for quite a while.

ON THE BALL…Kyogo Furuhashi in action just minutes before hirpling off in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth at the weekend.

“We knew it would be a crucial one and it is not an easy one, to be fair, the January window.“It’s not one where you really want to do too much because there is sometimes a desperation around it in terms of the business.

“So, we set our task early on that, irrespective of how the first half of the year went, we knew what targets we wanted. We knew what kind of players.

“And Michael Nicholson has been the driving force behind it.

“Because, as you can appreciate with the games we have had, I had to focus on making sure that we were competitive on the field.

“He’s taken the lead on that and he’s working awfully hard in the background to make sure we get what we need done.”

TRANSFER ALLY…new CEO Michael Nicholson is worked well with Ange Postecoglou in Celtic’s recruitment drive.

Postecoglou, in the job for only six months, admitted he has the full backing of the board and, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “That is because our visions are aligned.

“It’s not always the way and there may be times in the future where, whatever my vision is, it’s at odds with Michael.

“But, you know, if there is reasoning behind it, then I am comfortable with that, as well. That’s the key.

“I have good and open discussions with Michael and for both of us it’s about this football club.

“It’s not about ourselves, personally. It’s about what we think is going to be the right fit for this club. As long as that’s aligned, things run a lot more smoothly.

“As I said, he’s worked awfully hard this last couple of months as we knew the January window was going to be important to make sure we get what we need done.”

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