Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou admits he has a great deal of sympathy for opposite number Jim Goodwin as St Mirren contend with a fresh Covid outbreak ahead of tonight’s Premiership clash.
The Hoops will be backed by around 4,00 fans in Paisley during the final round of post-Christmas fixtures to be played in front of capacity crowds before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s new measures come into force on Boxing Day.
Goodwin has been forced to name a depleted side against their title-chasing opponents after the club’s plea to the SPFL to postpone their games over the festive period, including their trip to face Rangers at Ibrox on December 26 was rejected.
Postecoglou was disappointed to learn of the Buddies current predicament but insisted it could happen to anyone, just as the Parkhead giants discovered last season when they returned from a highly controversial winter training camp in Dubai.
He stated: “It’s tough for Jim and St Mirren, and that’s the challenge we are all facing.
“You are tested on a daily basis now and part of the daily schedule is to hold your breath until results come in.
“This could affect any one of us, and you saw Dundee United were fairly affected last weekend.
“This club had a history with Covid last year, so I don’t know how much sympathy means and whether there was sympathy for Celtic last year?
“It’s just the way of the world right now, but it’s definitely a tough one. I do feel for St Mirren and Jim.
“As manager we have to deal with these things, whether it’s Covid or injuries. He will put his team out on Wednesday night and make it difficult for us.
“With all of these things, we just have to follow the set guidelines. They are not designed for one particular purpose, they are just the rules and all of us could have to deal with them at some point.
“We just hope to get through this period without any of our own interruptions, over and above our injuries.
“We will follow the guidelines and if the game is to be played, we will play it. If not, we won’t.”
Postecoglou revealed he treated himself to a glass of whisky after Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup final triumph over Hibernian.
Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice to cancel out Paul Hanlon’s opener at Hampden, with all three goals coming in a thrilling second half.
The squad returned to training at their Lennoxtown base yesterday to start preparing for another crucial top-flight encounter as they look to reduce the gap at the top of the table to four points.
Postecoglou stated: “Yeah, I got a glass in. It was a nice quiet evening with my wife.
“You do take a couple of hours to reflect on winning the cup. I know how hard everyone has worked for it and trophies aren’t easy things to come by.
“You take that time to reflect but it’s more about what it does for other people. I take joy from watching other people celebrate and feeling like you have contributed to it.”