Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes his squad is more settled after a challenging start to the season and a significant turnover of players.
The Australian was happy to report that his international players had all returned from injury, which came as a relief to Postecoglou after key players Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor had both missed matches after the last break.
Recent signings and players returning from injury had the benefit of two weeks in training before the return to domestic fixtures and the manager feels both of these factors have helped the squad feel as settled as it has during his time in charge.
“It has been, right from the start, probably unsettled is the word,” he said.
“Because even four weeks ago we had guys leaving who were pretty important players. We played Rangers just before the previous break and guys like Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie, who were in the starting line-up, left, and we lost Cal and Kyogo for the next three or four weeks.
“It has been unsettled but after the Aberdeen game I was hoping we’d get through this international period without any issues and the ones who have been rushed in and thrown into playing can settle themselves, even off the field. Guys were literally coming off a plane and we were putting them in the team.
“Not just me, I think the whole squad feels better prepared than we were before.”
Postecoglou revealed that he had spent the international break not only on the training pitch but also in a series of meetings looking at the bigger picture and long-term planning, in part with Michael Nicholson, who took on the chief executive role after Dom McKay’s abrupt departure.
“He understands, because he’s been here, the job that is ahead of us in short, medium and long-term,” Postecoglou said. “We’re working together to put the pillars in place that we need to.
“We have some immediate concerns, obviously, and that’s around the football department and looking at January.
“But you want to build something something that’s not just for immediate success but for sustainable success. So you’ve got to get into some more strategic thinking.
“I’m working hand in hand with Michael on that. For me, it’s been helpful that he’s already been part of the organisation here and has a long history and understands what success looks like.
“Hopefully together we’ll be building something that’s sustainable for the future.”