Ange Postecoglou has warned Celtic’s up-and-coming players that they will have to earn minutes in the first team – even if the title is clinched this weekend at Tynecastle.

The Parkhead side can win their second cinch Premiership crown in as many years by gaining a point against Hearts on Sunday.

Should Postecoglou’s men get over the line in the capital, they will effectively have nothing to play for in their remaining four league fixtures and in such scenarios it isn’t unusual for young players within the squad to be given an opportunity in the senior team.

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The likes of Rocco Vata and Bosun Lawal have gained first-team minutes this term but Postecoglou insists he will not play the youngsters in the men’s team just for the sake of it.

When asked if he will give young players game-time once the title is mathematically confirmed, the Celtic manager explained: “My approach is always that every game is an opportunity for us to perform and keep improving.

“I’m not a fan of just giving games to players for some sort of ceremonial thing, everything's got to be earned.

“We’ve had Rocco, Benny Summers, Bosun Lawal training with us and they've had some game time because they’ve earned it, not because I feel like I need to give them reward. Everything they get from us they've got to earn. They’re training with us, the three young boys, and it’s not just them – there’s others.

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“It’s very competitive and that’s what’s got us to where we are right now. If I give somebody a game I better have some pretty compelling reasons to do it because there’ll be someone who's not playing who will want to know why.

“I’ve been really consistent in saying that every team I select I think will win us a game of football and perform to the best possible level with the knowledge that we can put some decent players on.

“That won’t change irrespective of whether we've sealed the title or not.”

Celtic Way:

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