BRENDAN RODGERS has decided not to risk new signing Kolo Toure in Celtic’s International Champions Cup confrontation with Barcelona at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this evening.

The 35-year-old centre-half, who rejoined his former Liverpool boss a week ago, didn’t travel with the rest of the squad and was left behind to concentrate on raising his fitness levels.

John Kennedy, the first team coach, said: “Kolo is still working fitness-wise, he will stay back and do some extra work.

“It was probably a bit early for him to play, so we think if he stays at home we can get in a few extra sessions and we can look at that and assess everything again on Monday.” 

Asked if Ivory Coast international defender had a chance of playing in the Champions League qualifier against Astana at Parkhead on Wednesday, Kennedy added: “It depends how he comes through the next few days of training.

“If he shows fitness levels that we find to be good enough, then he is an option. But, at the moment, we have to just go with what we have got.”

Erik Sviatchenko, who missed the 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan in midweek, and Mikael Lustig are other injury concerns for the Hoops. Kennedy confirmed they, too, have remained in Glasgow to help their recovery.

The coach also insisted the fixture against the Catalan superstars – which has a 6pm kick-off – would be helpful for the squad to experience playing a team full of world class players.

Kennedy added: “I think it’s a game where we can see where we are at in terms of performance levels playing against a top side.

“This is where you test yourself and see exactly where you are at and it gives you a marker. We have done a lot of good work pre-season against different opposition, but we are coming up against a different level now.

“You see individually where different players are at, but, more importantly, collectively as a team how we can handle playing against that calibre of opposition.

“It’s a great test, it will be a good match for us and it will be a good atmosphere in Dublin, as well.”

Once Upon a Time in the Kingdom of Govania is written by CQN’er MEA CULPA and is beautifully illustrated by the wonderfully talented CARTUJA.

Set in Medieval times it is a story of greed, corruption, cheating and skullduggery.

Some of the main characters may well ring a bell or two. There’s David the Lamb Giver and his financial assistant Baxendale de Porno.

Queen Beth sends Sir Hector of Taxem to Govania not long after David the Lamb Giver’s trusted ally Banquo Scotus in the terrible batte of Krunching Kredit. 

On the story goes as Sir Googly of Ayes is Hailed as the new knight of the realm. 

Sir Charles de Verre, the terrible Ogre, Mash the Scrotum Gripper and many more sort of familiar characters all enter the story of the fantastic fall of Govania and the emergence of Sevconia at Castle Ibroke. 

Once Upon a Time in the Kingdom Of Govania is an Escaped Goat Production for Celtic Quick News and Internet Bampots and is available exclusively from  www.cqnbookstore.com with a limited number copies remaining. 

After reading please pass it on…it’s for sharing and you will realise why the Zonbies are so upset about it!  It gets right up their noses!

Mea Culpa’s characters come to life – this one has two faces!

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