Hart: Celtic refreshed and ready for title race after international break

Celtic return to league action with a game against Livingston on Sunday.

Hart: Celtic refreshed and ready to go in title race after international break SNS Group

Joe Hart was quite happy to see the back of his Celtic team-mates during the recent break – but delighted to see a stronger group return.

The goalkeeper feels the international schedule gives the squad much-needed time apart to refresh and regroup.

With Reo Hatate set to return from injury in Sunday’s Premiership clash at Livingston, having not started a game for the club since October, Celtic are looking like they might be in a position to peak at the right time as they compete for league and cup success.

Hart said: “We’re in a good place. There’s always that fresh feel after an international break. We spend a lot of time together, an awful lot of time together, so it’s nice to have some time apart.

“There’s a few stories to share, a few good moments for a few people and getting a few people back fit. So we feel like we are in a good spot.”

When asked to expand on the benefits of time apart, the former England goalkeeper said: “It’s life, isn’t it? We are a family, we are a group of people who are together, working, squabbling, fighting, looking to do what’s best for each other, best for the team.

“For that relationship to flourish, you need time apart sometimes, a refresh.

“Some people are in a good place and need to calm down, some people need to go and get minutes elsewhere, some people just need a bit of time away.

“And it works. Football is really good like that, in these international breaks. For everyone at different points in their careers, it really does help.”

The break was handy for the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, who was left out of the United States squad in order to help him manage the hamstring issue which has dogged his season.

Callum McGregor also sat out Scotland games as he battles to be fit for the trip to face Rangers at Ibrox on April 7.

The midfielder’s Achilles problem will not be risked in West Lothian, but he has been on the training pitch and Hart says it is a “great feeling” to see Celtic’s key players out on the park.

“There is no doubt we are at our best when we have everyone available and the manager has got decisions to make on who he picks,” the 36-year-old said.

“In every single position we are strong when people are fit. We are getting towards that point and it’s an exciting place to be with a potentially exciting end to the season.”

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