Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Mowbray is right man for Celtic, says Loovens

Celtic fans should be in for a treat next season under new manager Tony Mowbray, according to defender Glenn Loovens.

Mowbray took over from Gordon Strachan this summer tasked with bringing flair and excitement to the team that, according to many Hoops fans, was missing from the side under their former boss.

Strachan was criticised for his team's style of play despite winning three successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League titles and three domestic trophy wins in the last four years which also saw back-to-back appearances in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Loovens, at the club's Lennoxtown training complex to launch the new away kit, revealed the changes he has noticed in the short spell working under Mowbray.

"Every manager has their own ideas and their own style but the one thing I can say is that I can't wait to work for him during the season. I think we all feel that.

"If there is a new manager it is always going to bring an atmosphere to the club because everyone wants to prove themselves over and over again.

"Maybe it's a bit too soon to say but he loves possession football and we practise that every training session and it's great to be involved with it.

"We also train a lot with the ball so from our point of view it's been a good pre-season.

"He looks for a lot of movement and change up front so I think it will be good to watch."

The former Cardiff defender returns to Wales for a friendly on Wednesday night, the second of only four challenge matches Celtic will play before the first leg of their Champions League third qualifier against Dinamo Moscow at Parkhead.

After Cardiff, the Parkhead club will face Al Ahly and Spurs in the Wembley Cup next Friday and Sunday respectively before turning their attentions to the crucial Euro qualifier.

Conversely, the Russian club are under way in their domestic league and will have played around 15 league games before they travel to Glasgow.

Loovens, who is "looking forward to seeing old friends at Cardiff," admits the Russians have an advantage in terms of match fitness.

"We can't wait to play some games," he said.

"We have only played one game and we know that in a week's time there is an important game coming up.

"So we just want to get started, get the friendly games out of the way and go for the ones that really count.

"We have to be ready, there's no doubt about it.

"I don't really watch Russian football to be fair - I don't get it on my satellite.

"But you know that it will be tough no matter who you draw and Dinamo Moscow will be tough opponents.

"I looked at their website and they have already played about 13 games so they have played a quarter of the season already so of course they have a bit of an advantage.

"But that shouldn't be an excuse for us, we are fresh and we want to show the manager what we've got so it's going to be a good game."

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