Celtic coach makes pre-season pledge to Celtic fringe men

John Collins says Celtic's four-game Austrian tour will afford every player a chance to earn a starting slot when the club kick-off the season for real against KR Reykjavik on July 15.

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Celtic assistant boss John Collins doesn't expect new signings in near future
Celtic assistant boss John Collins doesn't expect new signings in near future

The squad have flown out to Austria ahead of Thursday's opening pre-season friendly against FC Krasnodar.

New manager Ronny Deila will use the tour to run the rule over his men with further games against Rapid Vienna, LSK Linz and Dukla Prague before the start of the Champions League qualifying campaign against the Icelandic side.

Assistant manager Collins said: "We will look to see them in action. We have 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 admits it is unlikely that there will be any new arrivals at Parkhead before the European game.

"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."

Collins is enjoying working with Norwegian Deila and building up a rapport and is looking forward to developing their partnership.

"We will be spending a lot of time together in the training camp so it's great. But we are getting to know each other already," he said.

"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."

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