ANGE Postecoglou has issued his Celtic players with a warning ahead of the international break - and told them they won't be welcomed back in Glasgow if they pick up injuries.

Postecoglou was disappointed when both Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor suffered knocks playing for Japan and Scotland respectively in Qatar 2022 qualifiers last month.

The Greek-Australian was already missing a raft of important first team players and his men struggled without this first choice striker and captain and central midfielder.

“The last international break wasn’t great for me so I’m not sure how I feel about international breaks,” he said after watching Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1 at Pittodrie to record their first away win in the cinch Premiership this season.

Asked if he had any concerns about Celtic players travelling to countries on the Covid-19 red list to represent their national teams, he said: “Whether it’s red or amber, as long as they don’t get injured I will be happy. 

“I don’t think so, I don’t think we have any issues. Most of our players are double vaccinated no so we don’t have any issues. I said to the players that if anyone gets injured they are not welcome back anyway. We will see how it goes.”

Postecoglou, though, is optimistic he will have more players available for selection when Celtic play Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday week due to the break.  

“The next two weeks give us the chance to get some players up and running who are out injured, and get some work into some others who need it,” he said.  

“Fingers crossed they all get through the international window and we have a stronger squad to then sustain a bit of a run after everyone gets back.

“I have quite a few in Josip Juranovic, James Forrest, Mikey Johnston and Chris Julien. Giorgos Giokoumakis needs a big of work, he hasn’t really had a pre-season. 

"We have got some players we can get something out of when we come back from the break. It has been awfully difficult for the players because we have just been really thin. 

“You saw just what it means getting Kyogo and Cal back and even giving Tommy Rogic a spell today to bring him on, so we are not just throwing him on there game after game. 

“He was the one who unlocked the defence at the end so I am just hoping the international break is kind to us, not only with the guys who have gone away.

“Hopefully we can also get some work into the ones here and with a bit of a luck we can get some back and it will just give us a much stronger base.” 

Postecoglou added: “I am quite hopeful Josip will be back. It will be three weeks since the injury and he will be close. 

“We hope Mikey Johnston isn’t too far away, I think it’s a couple of weeks training and he should be ready. He has been close a couple of times. James Forrest, I’m not sure about straight after the break. But hopefully not long after. 

“Chris Julien will start training with the group after the international break and that’s going to be his first step back, so once he is training with the group it is just a matter of getting his fitness up. Just to get 10 days into Giokoumakis as well will be priceless.”