CHRIS SUTTON has admitted that Reo Hatate wasn’t on his A-game on Wednesday night as Celtic beat Motherwell 2-1.

Reuters/Carl Recine

The Japanese midfielder struggled to have his usual influence on the game, with some poor decisions from the player. His passing wasn’t as sharp as usual, and he didn’t seem to move around the pitch as he usually does.

However, Chris Sutton sympathises with him, admitting he has played a massive part in the midfield role since Callum McGregor’s injury and, alongside O’Riley, has made the step up. The Motherwell match was Hatate’s 12th start in a row and he is in contention to add to that on Saturday when Celtic play Ross County at home.

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Writing in the Daily Record, Sutton praised Hatate initially before acknowledging his poor performance midweek. The former Celtic man wrote;

“Mercifully for him, Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate have carried the burden and stayed healthy. It has to be said, the Japanese kid looked off it at Fir Park in midweek starting his 12th successive game and that’s understandable.”

Hatate, and the other players, won’t be getting a full rest, though. With some players off to the World Cup and others off to the Sydney Cup, the games will keep coming for the players as Ange looks to prepare them for the second part of the season.

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