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Loovens puts WC thoughts on backburner
Published : 11 Dec 2009 12:54:16
The Dutchman has partnered Gary Caldwell at the heart of the Hoops defence in recent weeks, leaving captain Stephen McManus stranded on the bench. Loovens knows retaining his place in the Parkhead side is vital if Dutch boss Bert van Marwijk is to keep him in his squad for South Africa next summer. However, ahead of Saturday's trip to Motherwell in the SPL, the former Cardiff defender claimed domestic football is all he is concerned about at the moment. "There is still a long way to go before the World Cup and my focus is Celtic now," he said. "I know myself that I have to play for Celtic - he (Van Marwijk) doesn't have to tell me that if I'm not playing I won't be in the World Cup squad. "That's something that stands on its own so I have to keep playing. "I have been involved in the last two or three squads so of course it is in your mind but now I am focusing myself on Celtic, and to do the job here." Loovens is thrilled with his role in Celtic's recent run of good form, which has seen them leapfrog Old Firm rivals Rangers to the top of the SPL by two points, although the Ibrox men have a game in hand. He said: "The team has been playing much better lately and that has made it easier for myself. "I think we have found the right balance in the team, we are starting to play the same team every week. "Gary and Stephen are both good players so I just had to wait for my chance and make sure I grabbed it with both hands. "But it's always good to play. It's what you need to improve so I'm delighted that I have been playing so much lately."