ANGE POSTECOGLOU didn’t hesitate to start with Josip Juranovic at right-back in the 2-0 Viaplay semi-final triumph over Kilmarnock at Hampden last night.
Nor did the Celtic manager need to think twice when he introduced Giorgos Giakoumakis to proceedings as a 74th-minute substitute for Kyogo Furuhashi with the match balanced on a knife-edge.
The Greek striker made certain of a return to the national stadium when he pounced deep in stoppage-time to add to Daizen Maeda’s first-half strike to fire the Hoops into the soccer showpiece on Sunday February 26.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Giorgos Giakoumakis slams in Celtic’s second goal after Kilmarnock keeper Sam Walker had pushed out a shot from David Turnbull.
STRIP STRIP HOORAY…Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates – before receiving a booking for removing his shirt.
Speculation indicates it is highly unlikely the Croatian World Cup defender and the Greek international powerhouse will still be Celtic players when the game is played in six weeks’ time.
In the aftermath of a hard-fought victory over Derek McInnes’ battling Ayrshire outfit, Postecoglou said: “I keep getting asked questions about Giako and Josip. I watch them every day and they are training hard, their attitude is first rate.
“They are not sitting around moping. There is going to be speculation between now and the end of the window.
“Michael Nicholson deals with the majority of that. If it gets to me, we know it is serious, but as of now there is nothing we need to address.”
ON THE BALL…Josip Juranovic in control against Killie at Hampden.
Postecoglou, though, was keen to discuss the possibility of adding a fourth recruit to his first-team squad after the arrivals of Canada World Cup No.2 Alistair Johnston and J-League double-act Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata.
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We are still working on things and constantly trying to make the squad stronger. We need to and I want to.
“I don’t want us to stand still at any point. I think the three boys we have brought in will make a contribution.
“But if there is an opportunity to make us stronger again we will take it because for us it is about ensuring we never stand still and are always looking to improve in every aspect.”
This could prove to be a long and eventful fourth transfer window for Postecoglou.