Reo Hatate provides fitness update as midfielder praises ‘intense’ Japan training

Reo Hatate provides fitness update as midfielder praises ‘intense’ Japan training

The 25-year-old is currently part of the nation’s squad for the Asian Cup in Qatar and was speaking after his side’s 4-2 win over Vietnam.

While Hatate did not feature in the fixture, he was keen to stress how much he is enjoying being with the national team after a period out with a hamstring injury.

The playmaker returned to action for the Hoops just before the international break when he came off the bench during the 3-0 victory over St Mirren.

And he is relishing the chance to help out his team-mates in Qatar.

Speaking to Japanese outlet Gekisaka, he said: “First of all, what can I do for the team? The best thing to do is to do my best for the team, and in addition to that, I want to get results such as goals.

“I think if you do it for the sake of others, they will follow you, so I hope I can do my best to help the team win.

“The team’s training has been very intense, and I feel like my condition is improving.”

READ MORE: Why Celtic should be loaning players to Premiership clubs

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has identified the area Celtic must improve in during the second half of the season.

The Hoops currently sit eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership but suffered a disappointing European campaign and early League Cup exit.

And Rodgers feels that “constituency” is something that has been missing at times.

Speaking to Celtic TV, he said: “Well, I think the consistency is the main one. I’ve been absolutely delighted to work with the players, good guys.

“We lost some important players and obviously a lot of younger players that had come in and will take a wee bit of time to adapt.

“Some of those have begun to emerge, the likes of Liam Scales. He’s not a young player, of course, but he came into the team and has done great.

“Paulo Bernardo, this last period, has settled in very well.  But that’s how long it can sometimes take for a young player coming from a different country, different culture and different expectations. 

“It’s been great to see the likes of them coming through. For me, it’s just that consistency and mentality and that will hopefully spread into that performance level.

“We’ve seen that in the last four games, we’ve been much more like what we’ve been.

“We’ve had other really good performances, Atletico Madrid at home, we were very clinical against Aberdeen.

“In the second half of the season, we can continue to grow and development the mindset of the players and team and look to have a really exciting second part to the season.”

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