Celtic fans continue their Japanese adventure after yesterdays 6-4 defeat to Yokahoma. They will now start make the 500k journey to Osaka on the famous bullet train for the Gamba Game.
Yokohama F. Marinos and Celtic fans had plenty to cheer with the ball hitting the back of the net 10 times. The J. League champions are mid-way through their season and way ahead of the Scottish champions in terms of fitness.
Brendan Rodgers believes it was beneficial for the players, with plenty of positives to reflect on. Speaking to Celtic TV, the Celtic manager said: “It was a tough schedule for us in terms of arriving here so quickly. This is a good team and they are pretty much three-quarters of the way through their season.
“It was perfect for what we needed with the fitness levels we need to be at, and there’s still a lot of work to do on that front. We played two behind closed doors and each game is a step-up in performance levels.
“We can’t lose track of the priority at this stage. You can never go on results and we need to build that fitness and you can see Yokohama were that bit sharper.
‘We will get to that point but we have to focus on our physicality and that will improve over the coming weeks. The main priority was our fitness and we will have benefited tonight.’
“You can see whenever it works well, some of the patterns in penetrating the space in behind to attract opponents out and then counter them with the ball, they did that very well.
“In other moments we were maybe hesitant with the ball and maybe didn’t get our pass away quick enough.
“That’s what pre-season is for. It’s for flushing out all of those mistakes and building your fitness up, and we can build through that over the course of pre-season.”
For those of us not lucky enough to be in Japan. Saturdays game will be shown live on https://www.celticfc.tv. Kick off is 11:00 (Celtic Park Time & 19:00 Japan Time).
Andrew Milne is editor of More than 90 Minutes Fanzine and the host of the Celtic Soul Podcast