Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Mowbray to cure Celtic's back trouble

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray is looking for a solution to his centre-back conundrum for the Scottish Premier League clash against Dundee United.

The Hoops will again be without Glenn Loovens and Jos Hooiveld who are both carrying hamstring injuries.

Darren O'Dea is suspended for Saturday's match after his red card at Aberdeen, which leaves 18-year-old Josh Thompson and 19-year-old Thomas Rogne as the only natural centre-backs.

Right-back Andreas Hinkel is back in contention, but Mowbray is contemplating the use of another full-back to add more experience to his back line.

While Loovens and Hooiveld could miss the Old Firm derby at Ibrox the following week, Mowbray is focused only on the visit of the Tannadice side as the Parkhead men try to claw back the 10-point gap Rangers enjoy over them at the top of the table.

“I don't think the injury situation is improving too much,” the Celtic boss said.

“It might not be (Thompson and Rogne in central defence). It might not be a centre-half. I might play Mark Wilson there, I might play Lee Naylor there, we will wait and see.

“You can play full-backs at centre-half no problem, it's been done many times, as long as they have a defensive mind and understand the danger.

“It's not ideal when your three experienced centre-halves are not available, but we will have some options.

“Every team has injuries or suspensions throughout the season, that's why you carry a squad and that's why you have players who can play in a few positions.”

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