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Ange Postecoglou hopes Celtic come through this international break unscathed

Aberdeen v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hopes to emerge stronger from the international break after the last one proved costly.

Postecoglou lost captain Callum McGregor and Kyogo Furuhashi for several matches after both suffered injuries picked up while playing for their countries.

Celtic only won two of their subsequent six matches before getting a much-needed away win at Aberdeen on Sunday as Jota’s late winner earned a 2-1 victory.

“The last international break wasn’t great for me so I’m not sure how I feel about international breaks,” Postecoglou said.

“Look, it is good having that positive feeling and the next two weeks give us the chance to get some players up and running who are out injured, and get some work into some others who need it.

“Fingers crossed they all get through the international window and we have a stronger squad to then sustain a bit of a run after everyone gets back.

“We have got some players we can get something out of when we come back from the break.

“Giorgos Giakoumakis needs a bit of work, he hasn’t really had a pre-season.

“You saw just what it means getting Kyogo and Cal back and even giving Tommy Rogic a spell off to bring him on, so we are not just throwing him on there game after game.

“He was the one who unlocked the defence at the end so I am just hoping the international break is kind to us, not only with the guys who have gone away.

“Hopefully we can also get some work into the ones here and with a bit of a luck we can get some back and it will just give us a much stronger base.”

The two free weeks before Celtic face Motherwell at Fir Park on October 16 will also give some players a chance to build up their fitness after injury.

“I am quite hopeful Josip (Juranovic) will be back,” Postecoglou said. “It will be three weeks since the injury and he will be close.

“We hope Mikey Johnston isn’t too far away, I think it’s a couple of weeks training and he should be ready. He has been close a couple of times.

“James Forrest, I’m not sure about straight after the break. But hopefully not long after.

“Chris Jullien will start training with the group after the international break and that’s going to be his first step back, so once he is training with the group it is just a matter of getting his fitness up.

“Just to get 10 days into Giakoumakis as well will be priceless.”