Celtic: New signing Carl Starfelt set to ease 'unfair pressure' on defence

Celtic start the league season at newly-promoted Hearts after Euro disappointment in Denmark
Celtic start the league season at newly-promoted Hearts after Euro disappointment in Denmark

Defender Carl Starfelt's availability gives the "whole squad a lift" for Celtic's Scottish Premiership opener, says manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Swede, signed from Rubin Kazan, is set for a debut against Hearts on Saturday having emerged from quarantine to train once with his new team-mates.

Celtic's defence had an average of 21 in the midweek Champions League qualifying exit to Midtjylland.

"We are better prepared from a squad perspective," said Postecoglou.

"We have another couple of players available who will help us enormously in Carl and Nir Bitton.

"It's been a bit unfair the pressure I have exposed some of our younger defenders to so far, and they have done awfully well.

"Callum McGregor has done an unbelievable job as a leader. But he needs help, he needs some other experienced heads and it's good to get Carl here."

Postecoglou's reign got off to a rocky start with Celtic's Champions League elimination in the second qualifying round after a 2-1 extra-time defeat in Denmark.

And while still seeking "a number of" signings to strengthen his threadbare squad, the Australian stressed the importance of an immediate response at Tynecastle.

"There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves," he added. "We've just got lick our wounds and go again.

"Everyone will focus on the result, but it's equally important to put in make a strong performance.

"The league is where we can make the biggest impact over the course of a season and that's where we need to be strong right from the first game."

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