Ryan trains with Rangers

Celtic defender Mikael Lustig believes the January lay-off will

rejuvenate Neil Lennon’s squad as they battle on four fronts this


All the top clubs in Scotland are enjoying a two-week break

which Lustig welcomes, as the 25-year-old has had little more than

six weeks respite in the past two years.

The Sweden international reckons the lack of rest was a

hindrance during his settling in period at Celtic Park following

his arrival from Rosenborg last January.

“The last year I struggled a bit with my body, and it is

probably down to that,” Lustig said.

“I don’t think the human body is supposed to play as many games.

Now the break is going to be really nice.

“I haven’t played most in the team this year but I have been a

little bit tired in my legs the last couple of weeks, so for me

it’s perfect.

“I think the two-week break can make a big difference,

especially mentally. I can go home and not focus on football.”

Liam Feeney’s strike just before the half-hour mark proved to be

the difference between the two teams at the New Den on


The Lilywhites pushed for an equaliser after the break, with the

best chance falling to Stuart Beavon, whose eight-yard shot flashed

just wide.

Westley was left to rue what might have been, saying: “We feel

we put in a good enough display to get the goal that would earn us

the replay but things are as they are unfortunately.

“When you go in one-nil down at half-time you’re always trying

to look to make a difference to the game and if you can get a grip

in midfield, which we did second half, then you have a platform to

build on.

“We mixed the midfield around which gave us some impetus going


“We try to look at the team performance rather than individuals,

and from our point of view it was never going to be easy to come to

their patch as they’re flying high at the moment.

“But the key is for us to look at the improvements we need to

make that will make the difference between the results we’re

posting and the ones we want.”

However, because Rangers are under a transfer embargo following

financial problems at the Ibrox club, Ryan is bidding to earn a

move to Glasgow in September when the embargo is due to end.

Ryan is due in Glasgow on Monday to spend 10 days training with

the Third Division club.

The 20-year-old, who has played for Australia in East Asian Cup

qualifying games, is set to link up with Rangers after Mariners

football manager Lawrie McKinna arranged the move with Rangers boss

Ally McCoist.

“I was in Scotland over Christmas and spoke with Ally McCoist

about Mathew Ryan,” said McKinna.

“It is a credit to Mat and to our club that Ally was well aware

of Mat’s ability and potential and immediately offered for him to

join Rangers for a training spell.

“Mat is eager to take up the opportunity and we are sure he will

learn a lot from the experience.”

Ryan has three months remaining on his current contract with

Central Coast.