With Six Days To Go, The International Fortnight Has Been Good To Celtic So Far.

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There are six days to go before we play our next game, and the big worry for a lot of us was that the international break might end in disaster.

So far so good though, all of our players are, at present, uninjured and the manager has even been able to cut some nice deals with some of the national coaches to return players to us early.

Bitton has come home already. Giakoumakis is sitting out Greece’s friendly.

That wraps two in cotton wool.

There is talk that the Croatian boss might rest Juranovic.

We can hope that Steve Clarke thinks along similar lines, and gives our boys a break, but I have my doubts on that front if I’m being honest.

Eyes will be cast across the water at our Japanese boy Hatate.

Hopefully he, too, comes through the test of international football unscathed. Every Celtic fan will be rooting for him, but also hoping that he comes off early and gets home quick.

We are closer to a full strength squad than we’ve been in many a long year, and whilst injuries can – and do – happen every bit as easily here at home as they can happen during games for a player’s country we seem to worry about this more.

Part of it is the travelling.

Part of it is being outside the bubble of staff who know how far they can push certain players before they break. Part of it psychological and the concern that our players are out there in situations that our club has no control over.

And yet, almost always – almost always, there are a few exceptions – players do come back from these things absolutely fine.

I think what most of us are worried about more than the games is the travelling, and in the case of Hatate that will be extreme … but we live in an era where flying long distance can be done in relative luxury.

We worry so much about this stuff, but in this case – as with so many others over the years – those fears look unfounded. We’re going to be in nearly perfect shape going into the game at the weekend.

That should be more than enough to get us a result.

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