Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has talked up the new rule change that will allow Scottish Premiership sides to make up to five substitutes per game in order not to overburden players within squads.
During the first half of the campaign, Postecoglou and his squad suffered from many injury issues and, just before the break, faced a Covid outbreak that ruled out several first-team players for the fixture against St Johnstone.
With that in mind, the 56-year old believes this rule change is a sensible decision from clubs who voted in favour of this on Thursday, which will see sides allowed to make up to five substitutes in a match, just as they were allowed to do in the 2020/21 season.
“We supported it, and when it was initially brought in a year ago, we had it in Japan as well and initially, I wasn’t really that for it because I just thought it kind of changes the game,” he said, speaking to the club website.
“But with what’s happening in the world in the last sort of 18 months, and with the preferred option of most leagues around the world being to continue as is in terms of the number of games, and we don’t want to be cutting down seasons or abbreviating seasons, it just meant that there’s too much of a load on players.
“It makes sense that five subs gives every club, irrespective of the strength in the squad, the opportunity to not overburden the core group of players.
“We went through that in the first half of the season. It’s not just happening in this league, but if you look around the world, injury rates are going up because of the demands put on players.
“And obviously, with covid still being around and still being a factor, I think it makes sense that we go back to the five subs and give every club the opportunity to look after their players.”
With the Covid issues continuing to be rife amongst squads across the league and the number of games needing to be played, in my opinion, this is certainly the right call to be made going into another busy schedule of fixtures in 2022.
From Monday, Postecoglou will be able to name up to nine substitutes for the Parkhead bench, similarly as to how he has in European competition this campaign.
This opportunity could also open the door to more first-team chances for youngsters such as Dane Murray and Tobi Oluwayemi, who have found themselves on the bench several times already in Europe.