Hatate Injury Update – “He’s been touch and go all week,” Callum McGregor

Callum McGregor plans to send theRangers a message in tomorrow afternoon’s Glasgow Derby with a victory and a dominant performance that will increase Celtic’s lead at the top of the table to a pretty much uncatchable twelve points as the Hoops close in on their eleventh title win in twelve years.

“It’s a game at home against a big opponent, we want to go and send a message, of course we do.
We want to prepare well all week and when we turn up we have to perform, we have to be hungry,” the Celtic captain told the media at yesterday’s media conference.

Reo Hatate is touch and go for tomorrow’s game.  Photo Jane Barlow

Celtic have injury concerns over both Reo Hatate and Greg Taylor but whether those two key performers make it or not, McGregor reckons that Celtic will he too much for theRangers as he looks to lead the team to another big result over the city rivals.

If we do all these things, hopefully we’ll have a positive result. If that all works to plan, we’ve done our job properly. “Do we want a big result? Of course.

“And let’s not kid ourselves, they would be the same if the shoe was on the other foot. That’s the nature of competitive sport — you want to be the winner and you want to be dominant. That’s the way we’re all wired. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be in this game.

“We understand there’s an opportunity there and we’ll be doing everything we can to maximise it.”

On Reo Hatate having a chance of making tomorrow’s game the Celtic captain did NOT completely rule out the Japanese midfielder’s chances of playing. “Maybe. He’s been touch and go all week,” Callum McGregor revealed.

“The fixture is a bit different and sometimes you can get through the pain barrier if you can. But if there’s an issue you don’t want to be taking crazy risks, as there’s a good bit of the season to go as well. You have to find the balance.

“You get the adrenaline in these big games of consequence. You feel on top of the world and it’s only after the game you start to think ‘oh that’s sore’.

“This is why the boss wants a strong squad. When things like this happen, guys come into the team and we don’t notice a drop off in quality or intensity. That’s why we have carried a big squad.

“The guys have been working hard and the manager has been big on players taking their chance when they get it. When someone is out, it’s an opportunity for someone else. You saw it last weekend when Alexandro Bernabei scored from the bench. We have had really high numbers with players coming on and impacting games.”

With Greg Taylor the other major injury concern ahead of the Glasgow Derby, the Celtic captain would have no concerns at all if the young Argentinian left-back ends up starting against theRangers at Celtic Park tomorrow.

“It was always going to take him some time to settle on and off the pitch. If he is needed to play I am sure he will be more than ready.”

Watch Callum McGregor’s media conference below…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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