KYOGO FURUHASHI will lead the Celtic attack against Feyenoord at Parkhead tonight, despite firing blanks in the past five games.
The Japanese international striker has failed to start the previous two Premiership encounters with Oh Hyeon-gyu getting the nod to face Hibs and Kilmarnock.
However, Brendan Rodgers will show faith in Kyogo, who has claimed two of the Hoops’ three Champions League goals in their ill-fated campaign, and pitch him against the Dutch as the curtain comes down on another all-too-brief European adventure.
The Irishman insists he has been playing to the pacy frontman’s strengths in the midst of some criticism he made have altered the forward’s style since his June arrival.
EURO STAR…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his goal against Lazio at Parkhead in October. Unfortunately, the Italians hit back to win 2-1.
Asked if Kyogo will replace Oh this evening, Rodgers answered: “He will play. We have to be fair to Kyogo and some of the other boys, as well. They can’t play in every single game. You lose that speed and intensity.
“Oh’s done well when he’s come into the game. A bit like Mikey [Johnston], he gets his start and then obviously the team plays well against Hibs, so you let that starting team start apart from Cameron Carter-Vickers with a view to making changes.
“But you need a good squad and you need to give some relief to players, especially with him and the amount of work he gets through.”
Dismissing suggestions of a deeper role for Kyogo, Rodgers, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “We went through his video stuff the other week. We looked primarily at the fact I don’t need him dropping in so much.
“When you’re playing in a lot of games where teams are sat deep, you don’t get a kick of the ball really unless it comes into the box.
“So what do you do? You start wandering. His strength is his penetration. That’s his strength, running in behind and timing his runs.
“You have to make 10 runs maybe to only get in once, but that’s your job as a striker.”
EURO STAR…Kyogo Furuhashi draw backs his left foot before firing Celtic into the lead in the 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid in Glasgow.
The Parkhead chief added: “So, there’s been nothing changed in that. There’s been absolutely nothing different asked of him because his strength is playing off the last line, timing his movements and being instinctive in the box.
“He’s not a dribbler, he’s not someone who does drop in. He can do it, but it’s not his strength. And that’s always the challenge for a striker who wants to affect games.
“But he’s very receptive. He’s not a baby, remember, he’s 28 years of age.”
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