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Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:06 UK

McManus facing comeback delay

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Players unaffected by boss search - McManus

Celtic's Stephen McManus expects to miss the start of pre-season training as he recovers from a knee injury.

The club captain missed the last four matches of the term just ended with the problem and needed surgery.

The 26-year-old is targeting an August return to training, which would make him a serious doubt for Scotland's World Cup qualifying trip to Norway.

The Scots play in Oslo on 12 August, with the Scottish Premier League campaign starting three days later.

Meanwhile, McManus insists the Celtic players are unconcerned about the hold-up in appointing a new manager.

Tony Mowbray is the front-runner to replace Gordon Strachan, who departed three weeks ago, while Owen Coyle, Roberto Martinez and Mark McGhee have all been linked with the vacancy.

"It was a long hard season and you like to take the whole of June for your holidays, so none of the players are concerned whatsoever," said the central defender.

"Obviously, you are the same as everyone else, you want to see who is appointed but we will get on with it.

"As players, you are not looking at your first game, you are trying to enjoy your holidays.

"There have been a few names that have caught the eye but it is still early days.

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"The good thing is the names that have been mentioned are all good managers and ones that you would look forward to working with. But the players are not losing any sleep over it.

"The board have got the last two managers spot on.

"If you look at the success Martin O'Neill had, and then Gordon Strachan came in and no one could have expected the success that he had but he has done it.

"So we are in the exact same position as when Martin O'Neill left, we have lost the league and whoever comes in will give the place a lift."

Celtic will begin their preparations for next season in Australia, where they will play a friendly against Brisbane Roar on 12 July.

They also have a visit to Cardiff lined up and will participate in the Wembley Cup, with matches against Al Ahly and Tottenham.

Celtic then enter the third qualifying round of the Champions League on 29 July.

However, McManus is unlikely to participate in any of those fixtures.

"It will probably be the start of August when I start back training," he said. "If it's any earlier, then great but it's important to get it right.

"And I'll be working just as hard as I possibly can to catch the new manager's eye."



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see also
Burley anticipates tight run-in
11 Jun 09 |  Internationals
SPL agree Scotland fixture change
14 Feb 09 |  Internationals


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