It would be good, tomorrow, to have a full strength squad available to us. But we live in an imperfect world where we don’t always get what we want. The game is one of eight in the league we have to navigate.
We hope there are two more in the cup.
Hatate will be needed later on.
To play him tomorrow would give the team and the fans a lift, sure, but as I said earlier in the week, this is not the do-or-die game for the Ibrox club and if they decide to kick and maim everything in a Celtic strip I’d rather he was on the bench.
The last thing we need is for him to pick up an injury sufficient to rule him out for Hampden and then Ibrox after the split.
We want Hatate fit for them both.
It sounds to me as if we’re taking no chances with the guy.
If he’s not back in training, then in my view he won’t play.
That’s for the best. We don’t need him to dominate their midfield. Abada is already out and so the fewer injuries we have the better, but the chance of making matters worse is too obvious to ignore and we’re better not doing it.
We have the strength in the squad to cope with his absence. I would like to see Iwata continue in his defensive role. He looked solid at the weekend and he needs to show us that he can handle these sorts of games anyway.
It also allows Callum to push further up front into what I still think is his best position in the team.
Mooy will probably be fit as well.
I think all of us have sufficient faith in the manager and in the squad not to panic if Hatate’s name is not on the team-sheet.
The cup semi final is a more important match, played on a neutral ground, and their whole season depends on it … so that’s the one we should be keeping our best players for and making sure that they’re as ready as they can be.
Frankly, I still we’ve got enough about us to do this lot whoever’s in the line-up.