SEAD HAKSABANOVIC swears by Celtic fans – as he demonstrated after the side’s 2-1 loss in the opening game to the local side in the Sydney Super Cup yesterday.
The Montenrgro international winger, who joined for a bargain £1.7million from Rubin Kazan in August, has already been knocked out by the Hoops support after just 16 games.
Haksabanovic came on for Liel Abada at the Allianz Arena at the interval and, four minutes later, watched Max Burgess score what turned out to be the winning goal after the Hoops defence fell asleep and allowed him time and space to drag the ball to his left foot before curling an angled effort high past the despairing Benji Siegrist.
FAN-TASTIC…Sead Haksabanovic acknwowledges the Celtic fans after scoring the winner against Ross County.
Alas, it was not the only occasion the visitors switched off against the hosts who took full advantage of a somewhat lacklustre approach to the confrontation by the Scottish champions.
Sweden-born Haksabanovic insisted frustrated boss Ange Postecoglou was well within his rights to rip into his players who failed to put on a show for the Australia-based fans.
The 24-year-old forward said: “Of course, we were disappointed. We want to win every game, whether it’s a friendly, in the league or the Champions League.
“We’ve come a long way, but, unfortunately, we didn’t show our best side. It’s a long journey and the times are different, but we don’t like to make excuses. It’s not hard to sleep right. We should have shown more, so we were not happy.
“Everywhere we go we have a massive fanbase. They showed again – they are f***ing brilliant!
OZ-SOME…Sead Haksabanovic waves to the Celtic support in the Allianz Arena after the game against Sydney FC.
“I play for a great club with amazing fans. And once again they have shown that. I want to give them some more.”
Haksabanovic boarded the flight at the start of the week in the warm glow of netting the winner in the hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ross County to make sure Postecoglou’s side were leading the Premiership by nine points heading into the World Cup break.
The wide Bhoy, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I feel good and my confidence is high after scoring a few goals. I am enjoying my football.
“In my head, I am more relaxed, but I want to do more. At first, I was new and I had to learn how everyone moved on the pitch. It’s always the same with new team-mates.
IT TAKES TWO…Sead Haksabanovic and Reo Hatate embrace after the Japanese midfielder had set up the points-clincher against Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday.
“I feel more in tune with them now and it’s easier for me to read what they are doing. The standard in the squad is so high. Everyone here can score or create goals – we have players who can change games.
“I feel I have more to give as well – 100 per cent.”
The Hoops are now preparing for the second and final encounter in the Sydney Super Cup against Everton at the Accor Stadium and Haksabanonic added: “We’ve got another game on Sunday, we will have a break then it’s pre-season in Portugal.
“Everyone wants to come back in the best form we can so we can start the next part of the season strongly.
“We want to pick up where we left off.”