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15th Jun, 2018 | 12:38pm

'Ideal preparation' - Davie Hay lauds Celtic approach to season-defining qualifiers

Former Celtic boss Davie Hay is pleased with the preparations the club have made in the run-up to the season defining Champions League qualifiers, which begin next month.

The Hoops are set to head off to train and play some friendlies in Austria, and Hay believes this is the ideal build-up to the four rounds of qualifiers.

“The camp in Austria is ideal preparation because it means there is no reason for lengthy travel, jetlag and anything else that derails the players as they build up to some of the most important games of the season” he said, writing in his column in the Evening Times.

Hay also praised the Hoops decision not to travel to America in pre-season, as it could have taken too much out of the squad.

“In times gone by there was a tendency to accept the invitations to the relatively lucrative tournaments in North America but there has been a sensible decision made to protect the squad as much as possible.”

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Will Davie Hay be correct about the Hoops’ preparation this pre-season? Only time will tell. He is correct about the tours to America though, they would only be worth doing if the Hoops were guaranteed entry into the Champions League group stages. And those days are long gone. Such is modern football these days that the Hoops’ most important fixtures of the season don’t take place in May, but in July and August. Which is why it is so important that pre-season is a success for the group of players. There is no need to take any risks, and indeed, the league games the Bhoys play in this period of time may see squad players mostly picked. Everything has to be geared towards qualifying for the group stages, it would be a catastrophe for the Hoops if they missed out. The preparation, does, on paper, look to be an ideal build-up to the qualifiers – and then it will be all down to the players.

In other Celtic news, Odsonne Edouard is set to sign a four year deal with the Hoops

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