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Tomoki Iwata reveals Celtic observation lesson that eased injury frustration before hitting gym to bulk up

Tomoki Iwata has revealed how watching Celtic during his time out injured combined with hitting the gym ensured he was ready to make an impact on his return to the first team.

The midfield was crocked at the end of last year during a Champions League clash against Feyenoord at Parkhead but made his return against Motherwell in February and has emerged as a key player for Brendan Rodgers in recent games.

Iwata was signed on an initial loan by his former Yokohama F. Marinos boss Ange Postecoglou with an obligation to buy. And the 26-year-old spoke of bulking up to deal with rigours of the Scottish Premiership - while watching his team-mates closely in action while injured this season. He said: “I was not involved in too many games in the first half of the season and I was frustrated about that. I got a chance to play a few games but I got an ankle injury around the second or third game. I finally made it back last month (February) but it hasn’t been the season I wanted it to be.

“Even though I couldn’t play, I still had some chance to watch the other players around me. It was an opportunity to observe and learn how they play and, without such time, it would be difficult to pay attention to such areas.

“Since I came here, I’ve been doing a lot of physical training but this season I’ve been focusing more on how I can actually use my strength in games. I have been paying more attention to my physical condition and to be in the best shape to play. I think there have been a few changes, like maybe a little bit more control over the volume of workouts. So I think overall there was a change from last season.

“I’m getting the best out of myself in terms of duelling and one-on-one situations with my opponents. But sometimes you

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