THE phony wars are now over for Celtic, and Ange Postecoglou will be hoping his men are primed for the battles that lie ahead. They certainly appeared to be nearing readiness as they saw off Norwich City comfortably enough at Celtic Park, if not quite full sharpness just yet.

This was the last of Celtic’s six pre-season friendlies, and as such, had the feeling of a dress rehearsal for next week’s league curtain-raiser against Aberdeen. To that end, the starting line-up selected by Postecoglou may reasonably be viewed as the one that will also start that match, and the absence of a raft of substitutions at the interval showed that the Celtic manager was treating this one almost as seriously as the real thing.

In the end, goals from Daizen Maeda and David Turnbull were enough to maintain their unbeaten run during their summer programme, with a lot to like about their performance in the 2-0 win over Dean Smith’s men, including their first clean sheet since the 7-0 thumping of Wiener Viktoria that kicked off their Austrian training camp.

There were also debuts for Moritz Jenz and Aaron Mooy, Postecoglou’s latest recruits, with the German defender particularly impressing, showing off a good range of passing and a decent reading of the game during the half hour he was on the pitch.

There were a few familiar faces to Scottish football fans in the Norwich line-up, and the most familiar of all to Celtic fans, striker Teemu Pukki, went close with a glancing header after finding space rather easily in the home area.

Celtic took the lead though 10 minutes before the interval, the ball finding its way inadvertently to Josip Juranovic on the right after Matt O’Riley contested a 50/50, and the full-back picking out the run of Maeda across the six yard box to the front post.

When the ball reached him, the forward produced a lovely improvised finish, flicking the ball with his heel on the turn through the legs of Tim Krul and into the net for his second in as many games.

The Norwich players were less than impressed by the absence of the assistant’s flag with Juranovic receiving the ball in what looked a suspiciously offside position, but the goal was allowed to stand due to the touch off of Scotland defender Grant Hanley.

The second half started without much incident before the wholesale changes did eventually arrive on the hour, Postecoglou making seven substitutions which included a home debut for midweek arrival Moritz Jenz.

The centre-back was straight into the action, sensing the danger and making a good block on Josh Sargent as he looked to get a cross in on the right.

The changes knocked Celtic a little out of their rhythm, and Norwich started to create one or two opportunities, Daniel Sanini only being denied by a combination of Carter-Vickers on the stretch and Hart’s face.

The hosts were still threatening going the other way though, and a moment of magic from Turnbull doubled their lead on 67 minutes, the midfielder showing wonderfully quick feet to shimmy away from two challenges on the edge of the area before arrowing a low shot past Angus Gunn and into the far corner of the net.

Liel Abada should have made it three soon after when James Forrest worked the ball in from the left, the winger thrashing the ball wide from inside the area.

Mooy then came on to make his own debut 13 minutes from time, immediately taking up the deeper-lying midfield role with Callum McGregor pushing into a more advanced position. He looked a little ring-rusty, but it’s early days in fairness, with the Australian only training once with his new teammates before the game.

All-in-all, it was a decent end to Postecoglou’s team’s preparations as they gear up for the fight to retain their title.