Mowbray biding his time
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray has assured his new players he will give them time to prove themselves before moving anyone on.
Mowbray yesterday confirmed Paul Hartley and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink would not be offered new contracts, but those still on the payroll will not be rushed out of the door. The former West Bromwich Albion boss hopes to persuade Nancy striker Marc-Antoine Fortune to choose Celtic ahead of Hull, Portsmouth and Fulham in the coming days.
But he is working continuously on other transfer deals in case the former Baggies striker chooses to further his career in England. "We are all working very, very hard to make these things happen," Mowbray said.
"It's never easy. Players are just coming back from holiday, it's the same with managers and coaches. We have made a lot of calls and a lot of contact and a lot of people have spoken to me as well. As I say to them, I want to look at the players. I don't want on day one to say yes, he can go out.
"I need to see them and see what their characters are. We have put markers down, we are further advanced with some potential signings than we are with others. As in anything in this game, you think something is done and then it's not done. That's why you have got to have options, it's no good putting all your eggs in one basket."
Mowbray is carefully building up his personal relationships with his new players in an attempt to elicit their peak performances. "I'm just trying to develop a rapport with the individuals," he said. "They have got to know what Tony Mowbray's personality is all about, what my character is, how I interact with them. And vice versa.
"I need to know the players who, when they are running hard and sweating and don't think they can do any more, who digs in and keep going, who drops to their knees and doesn't want to any more? How do they react to a bit of cajoling? They are human beings and the best way to get the best out of them is to know which buttons to push when the going gets tough."