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Celtic: Chris Sutton admits pre-season concern

Celtic: Chris Sutton admits pre-season concern - Celtic News

Celtic legend Chris Sutton says it ‘isn’t great’ that John Kennedy, rather than Ange Postecoglou, will take charge of the first day of pre-season training.

The lowdown

Celtic confirmed the appointment of Postecoglou as their new manager on Thursday after a period of 107 days without a permanent boss (via The Guardian).

But after leaving Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos, Covid-19 rules dictate that he’ll have to undertake 10 days of quarantine on arrival to the UK.

The result is that John Kennedy, who took the reins for the 2020/21 run-in after Neil Lennon’s departure, will be the man welcoming some of the players back on June 17 (via Daily Record).

Celtic have scheduled what they call a ‘vitally important’ pre-season training camp in Wales between July 5 and 14, during which they will play Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic and Bristol City in closed-door friendlies.

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Writing in his Daily Record column, Sutton admitted the period of isolation was far from ideal, undermining the sense of a ‘fresh start’ at Celtic Park.

“The fact that John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan will be taking the first day of pre-season training isn’t great for a start,” he wrote.

“No harm to them but they were part of last season’s failure.

“The last thing the squad needs is the same old faces when they are being promised a fresh start.”

The verdict

One can understand where Sutton is coming from here. The Celtic players will want to feel like a new era is underway at the outset as they look to banish last season’s woes, but there’ll be an element of continuity from last season’s nightmare.

Kennedy averaged just 1.6 points per game as caretaker boss, which is miles away from what the Hoops will need to catch up with Rangers next season.

Postecoglou will want to begin implementing his philosophy immediately, and the late return of players who are involved in the European Championships only complicates matters further.

Patience will definitely be required from Hoops fans.

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