STEPHEN WELSH admits it is “an absolute nightmare” to play against new Bhoy Kyogo Furuhashi.

The £4.6million Japanese striker fired in his fifth goal in four starts with the third in the 3-2 League Cup victory over Hearts at Parkhead yesterday to set up a home quarter-final tie against Raith Rovers next month.

Furuhashi, who thumped in a hat-trick the previous week in the 6-0 rout of Dundee in the league, was also involved in the build-up for the other two goals claimed in the first-half by Odsonne Edouard and Stephen Welsh.

However, the lightning-swift frontman appeared to be singled out for some special treatment by the Edinburgh club defenders, but it was clear they were wasting their time if they were attempting to intimidate the 26-year-old marksman.

WALLOP…Kyogo Furuhashi thunders No.3 past the sprawling Craig Gordon.

Team-mate Welsh said: “He’s coming up against good defenders and big defenders who will want to be physical with him, but he’s always wanting the ball and I thought he handled that well.

“That is going to happen, especially up here in Scotland.

“Kyogo’s quality speaks for itself. His movement is one of the best I have seen come into Celtic.

“It must be an absolute nightmare to play against him. Actually, I know that myself already from training with him.

“I think he also showed that he can play on the wing as well instead of just being up front.”

NO PROBLEMS…Ange Postecoglou reckons Kyogo “can handle himself well”.

Ange Postecoglou, who didn’t hesitate in splashing the cash for the J-League ace, also insisted Kyogo will handle any intimidation and, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I’m sure he’s had that in his career in the past.

“He can handle himself well. I think you saw that he just gets on with it. If the opposition resorts to those sorts of things to try and stop him, then that just shows how much of a threat he is.

“He’s the type of player supporters want to watch and he feeds off their energy. He was good and he’s settled in really well.

“He’s a smart player and intelligent. He played off the left for us and handled it alright. He’s always a threat and is super-positive.

“He took his goal well and his pass for the first goal was just brilliant, too. Then again there is more to come from him.”

Kyogo is now in line to lead the attack against AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of the Europa League first leg play-off final in Glasgow on Wednesday evening.


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