ANGE POSTECOGLOU has explained why he ignored the claims of Alexandro Bernabei when he was forced to replace hamstring-victim Greg Taylor in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on Monday.
The Scotland international left-back had to be withdrawn in the 21st minute with the champions leading through a fifth-minute strike from Daizen Maeda.
ON THE BALL…Alexandro Bernabei missed out at Ibrox, but will face Kilmarnock today.
However, Postecoglou put on naturally right-sided Josip Juranovic for the defender’s first appearance since his World Cup heroics for Croatia in Qatar.
The move back-fired big-style with the 27-year-old ex-Legia Warsaw player struggling to contain Fashion Sakala as the hosts went 2-1 ahead before Kyogo Furuhashi rescued a point with an equaliser in the 88th minute.
The Hoops boss later admitted the switch “knocked the team out of whack” as they lost momentum, conceded possession and were caught on the back-foot during a torrid start to the second-half with Juranovic clearly toiling.
Bernabei will be in place against Kilmarnock at Parkhead this afternoon with question marks over the Croatian star’s participation.
Jaranovic could return to his more recognised right-back to replace Canadian international Alistair Johnston who made his debut in the derby only 24 hours after the club received international clearance following his £3.5million arrival from MLS club CF Montreal a fortnight earlier.
IN WITH A SHOUT…there are questions marks over Josip Juranovic before today’s game against Kilmarnock.
Postecoglou, speaking to The Scotsman, admitted: “I’m really happy with Bernabei. The only reason I didn’t bring him on the other day is that I had an international defender just back from the World Cup to put on ahead of him.
“We’re really happy with his progress. We knew it would be a long-term project with him being so young and not having a lot of experience, but he’s come on leaps and bounds.
“He’ll get an opportunity today and I’ve no doubt he will do well. He’s a great young player and one I’ve got high hopes for. There are no issues there.”
Taylor is likely to be be sidelined for a fortnight and will also sit out the Viaplay League Cup semi-final against his former club Killie at Hampden a week tonight.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Kilmarnock this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.