Time to test validity of Mogga's international 'excuse'
Updated Saturday, 21st November 2009
Following a week of heavy rain on Tayside there will be an 8.00am pitch inspection at Tannadice tomorrow morning. Manager Tony Mowbray still has injury concerns ahead of tomorrow's SPL meeting with Dundee United but he's eager to get going after yet another international hiatus.
Celtic skipper Stephen McManus is suspended for the SPL clash at Tannadice and boss Tony Mowbray is still without Artur Boruc, Scott Brown and Shaun Maloney due to their ongoing struggle with injuries. Glenn Loovens is still suffering from the groin strain which led to his removal at Falkirk two weeks ago and if the Dutch defender doesn't pass a late fitness test then 18 year-old Josh Thompson may make his debut against Dundee United.
Despite the injury worries the Celtic manager is really looking forward to the return to action following the two week international break. "Sunday can't come quick enough." he said. "We are ready to go, so let's hope we find a level of consistency over the next three or four months. It's as reported, we have one or two people out, but we just get on with it, no excuses. Scott Brown, Artur Boruc and Shaun Maloney are injured, Stephen McManus is suspended and Glenn Loovens trained today, so we will wait and see how he is."
Tannadice is a happy hunting ground for the Hoops, in fact you have to go back over ten years to recall the last time the Terrors recorded a victory against Celtic on their home turf, but manager Mowbray won't take any comfort from the history behind the fixture. "It's a statistic." said Mogga. "Let's hope it runs another 10 years! We are looking forward to getting back into league action again."
Mowbray has been criticised by some recently when he seemed to blame the frequent international breaks for the failure of his side to show any sort of consistency in their performances but now the manager's observations will be put to the test as we begin a run of SPL and Europa Cup games without the disruption and distraction of these all too frequent intermissions.
"We have no more breaks for a good four or five months now," he said."We now have a couple of Europa League games and the league games are coming thick and fast, so let's get stuck into it. We have been very good in some games and below par in others, so we are looking for consistency and most teams who are successful go through spells where they struggle to find it. We need to find a level of performance that can win us games, week-in, week-out. We need to build on positive results, so let's wait and see what happens."