Aussie Ange feels Celtic are settling down

Ange Postecoglou believes Celtic are recovered from an 'unsettled' start.
Ange Postecoglou believes Celtic are recovered from an 'unsettled' start.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has said he feels his squad is as well prepared as ever following an "unsettled" start to his Parkhead reign.

The Australian is also looking ahead to the January transfer window and beyond with acting chief executive Michael Nicholson.

Postecoglou reported a clean bill of health from his international players ahead of Saturday's Premiership clash at Motherwell, after losing both Callum McGregor and Kyogo Furuhashi for several games after the previous break for World Cup qualifiers.

With the dust settled on the transfer window and late captures such as Giorgos Giakoumakis, Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers having had two free weeks to bed in, Postecoglou feels more comfortable as Celtic bid to build on their first domestic away win in eight months.

"It has been, right from the start, probably unsettled is the word," the former Australia head coach said.

"Because even four weeks ago we had guys leaving who were pretty important players. We played Rangers just before the previous break and guys like Odsonne (Edouard) and Ryan (Christie), who were in the starting line-up, left, and we lost Cal and Kyogo for the next three or four weeks.

"It has been unsettled but after the Aberdeen game I was hoping we'd get through this international period without any issues and the ones who have been rushed in and thrown into playing can settle themselves, even off the field. Guys were literally coming off a plane and we were putting them in the team.

"Not just me, I think the whole squad feels better prepared than we were before."

Postecoglou, whose team sit sixth in the Premiership, added: "It's important we get some momentum in this period. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, we have some challenges including Saturday's game, which will be a tough one.

"But I just feel the squad is better prepared now for what's ahead. I feel the squad is as well prepared as we have been since day one and that's the most important thing for me."

Postecoglou, is, however, already looking to strengthen further when the transfer window opens.

He and Nicholson are, he said, "very much working together to put the pillars in place that we need to. We have some immediate concerns obviously, that's around the football department and looking ahead to January.

"But we want to build something, not just for immediate success, but for sustainable success. So you have to get into more strategic thinking and I am working alongside Michael hand in hand with that.

"If I keep getting that support then I am really confident we will bring in the right kind of players in January, which we need to help bolster the squad, and then have a real good foundation for what's ahead.

"Because there is no doubt this has been a major rebuild. That's not just an opinion, that's a fact. When you bring in 12 players in one window, that pretty much signifies you are building something completely new."

Australian Associated Press