KYOGO FURUHASHI was “getting really angry” as he sat on the substitutes’ bench for over an hour during the 4-0 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead yesterday.
Boss Ange Postecoglou had taken the opportunity to rest his prolific marksman and give a first starting slot to new Bhoy Oh Hyeon-gyu.
However, the Hoops gaffer admitted he “didn’t have much choice” when he introduced the Japanese striker to the action in the 71st minute as a replacement for the South Korean January recruit.
UP FOR IT…action man Kyogo Furuhashi wants to be involved.
At that stage, the champions were two first-half goals ahead following a superb strike from skipper Callum McGregor inside two minutes and another shortly afterwards from Reo Hatate after some clever lead-up play from the in-form midfielder.
The last thing the exhausted Dons defenders, who had been run ragged in a one-sided encounter, wanted to see was the pacy Kyogo joining the fray.
Hatate completed his second successive double after his two against St Mirren the previous week and Liel Abada lashed in No.4 near the end after some hard work from Sead Haksabanovic to set up the opportunity for the Israeli winger.
Kyogo fired a blank in his 20-plus minutes on the pitch, but he is clearly looking to add to this campaign’s haul off 22 goals when the holders take on Michael Beale’s Ibrox side in the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden a week today.
DEBUT BHOY…Oh Hyeon0gyu during his first start against Aberdeen.
The fleet-footed forward, who emphasised he was fully fit after his shoulder injury scare, may even be looking to go one better than he did in last season’s showpiece showdown in the competition when he claimed two goals in the comeback 2-1 victory over Hibs in December 2021.
There was no holding Kyogo back on this occasion, though, and Postecoglou joked: “He would have been fine, but John Kennedy kept telling me: ‘Look, he is getting really angry, you better put him on’.
“So, I didn’t have much choice. I thought he was going to sneak on at one point.
“I just thought before the game it was good chance to get Oh some minutes.
“Kyogo has been outstanding in recent times and it was going to be hard for us to find a game for Oh with the fact we are only playing a game a week at the moment.
“I didn’t want to go too long without giving Oh a start and I thought this was a good opportunity to do that. But Kyogo is fine, he is raring to go and looking forward to next week.”
PRIZE GUY…two-goal Kyogo Furuhashi with last season’s League Cup.
Postecoglou described his team’s football as “outstanding” as they achieved their third successive league win over the Pittodrie side in this crusade with seven goals scored and none conceded. It was also the champions’ ninth domestic triumph and maintained their nine-point advantage at the Premiership pinnacle.
Asked if the sequence of results provided his players with a psycological advantage over the Govan opponents ahead of the national stadium showdown, the 57-year-old Greek-Australian fired back a flat “no.”
Postecoglou, speaking to The Scotsman, added: “Cup football is Cup football. In any round you go in with the possibility that irrespective of form any team can win it.
“Even more so in a Final. We played Hibs last year and it was a pretty tight game.
“So, from our perspective we are not going into it thinking anything other than to we’ve got be the best we can be to get the job done.”