Celtic head to Austria

Celtic have flown out to Austria ahead of their opening pre-season friendly against FC Krasnodar on Thursday.

Last Updated: 03/07/14 at 16:15 Post Comment

John Collins: Celtic assistant manager looking forward to Austrian trip

John Collins: Celtic assistant manager looking forward to Austrian trip

New manager Ronny Deila will use the tour to run the rule over his squad with further games against Rapid Vienna, LSK Linz and Dukla Prague before the Hoops open their Champions League qualifying campaign against KR Reykjavik on July 15.

Assistant manager John Collins told Sky Sports News: "We will look to see them in action. We have got four games and we have got a big squad so we will get to see all the players and really we are building up towards that Champions League qualifier. That's the important one so we have got to build the players up to it slowly.

"We will be training hard every day and we have got the games in between the training. The manager will work on the training pitch to play a certain way, a certain style so hopefully as every game goes by the players will know what we are after."

Collins is enjoying his new role alongside Norwegian Deila, who was appointed as Neil Lennon’s replacement earlier this month.

He added: "We will be spending a lot of time together from morning to night in the training camp so it's great. But we are getting to know each other already.

"The relationship is terrific. He is an excellent coach on the training pitch, working hard with the players from morning to night. He is very well organised so the players are crystal clear - they know exactly what he is after - so I am thoroughly enjoying working with him."

Collins admits it is unlikely that there will be any new arrivals at Parkhead before the clash with KR Reykjavik.

"I think it is probably too tight," he said. "It will be after those games but we will be looking at players in the training camp as well - videos of potential targets. But at this moment time the main concentration is working with this group of players towards that first game."

Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk has been linked with Southampton and Sevilla in recent weeks, but Collins insists no offers have been made for any of the club’s players.

"Not as far as I know," he said. "But when you have got good players, there is always going to be speculation and teams interested in them, so no problem with that at all.

"We would love to keep all the top players but everybody knows if crazy bids come in you never know, but at this moment in time we need them all playing for Celtic."

England goalkeeper Fraser Forster was a notable absentee as the squad flew out of Glasgow Airport but he will join them later on in Austria.

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