ANGE POSTECOGLOU insists fans’ favourite Kyogo Furuhashi will be even more deadly once his Celtic team-mates get up to speed.
The Japanese striker has hit 14 goals in 21 starts in a whirlwind streak to his Hoops career following his £4.6million summer arrival from J-League outfit Vessel Kobe.
Kyogo’s latest strike was the matchwinner against Hearts at Parkhead on Thursday night to ensure another three points in the club’s quest to win back the championship that had been their property for nine successive years until last season’s inexplicable collapse.
HOOPS, I DID IT AGAIN…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his 14th goal of the season with the winner against Hearts.
The international hitman now has Dundee United in his sights at Tannadice in tomorrow’s midday kick-off and he has already displayed his penalty box skills on Tayside after his double salvo in the 4-2 victory over Dundee at Dens Park last month.
Beaming Celtic gaffer Ange Postecoglou said: “I knew he could make an impact. I’m the person least surprised by the impact that he’s had.
“I knew what a clever player he was and his movement is very hard to contain. Provided we played our football in a way I thought we could, then I knew he would be a guy who could get goals for us.
“I felt probably the last two or three games we haven’t been using him as much as we can.
“I still think even within our team we’re still not as sharp as he is in terms of getting the ball to him in the right areas.
PICK IT OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi flashes Anthony Ralston’s cross beyond Craig Gordon.
“He’s just very hard to stop and from our perspective, it’s just about us getting in sync with him. Sometimes he’s just too sharp for us with his runs.
“We’ve just got to keep seeing him and playing him in because we know he’s a threat. But the beauty about him is the way he works off the ball, defensively for us, is just outstanding.
“I’m glad he’s getting the reward of goals because that’s what strikers want.
“Even if he wasn’t scoring, his work-rate and effort has been outstanding.”
Postecoglou is prepared to raid the transfer market in next month’s window to further strengthen his squad and take some of the weight off the likes of Kyogo who only has Albian Ajeti as back-up with Greek Giorgos Giakoumakis, recruited from Dutch club VVV-Venlo at the cost of £2.5million, struggling to overcome a knee problem.
MERCHANT OF MENACE…Kyogo Furuhashi has hit the ground running since his summer arrival.
The Greek-Australian, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “It would be great to be able to do that. That’s the plan and I’m on record as saying this squad’s nowhere near the depth and the quality I want.
“I’m not complaining about that because I knew that would be the case. There was no chance we could do that in one transfer window.
“So, January gives us the chance to do some more, which I think will help us.”
Anthony Ralston, Filipe Jota and Stephen Welsh all limped off during the tussle with the Tynecastle team and the on-loan Portuguese winger, who had scored five goals in as many appearances before Thursday, is among the manager’s concerns.
He added: “He wasn’t too downbeat after the game, he was hopeful it was nothing too serious.
“Ultimately, we need guys like Mikey Johnston and Liel Abada to step up, that’s why they’re here at the club.
“And if the opportunity exists for them it’s up to them to take it.”