ANGE POSTECOGLOU emphasised the need for Celtic to continue adding strength in depth to his first-team squad after the 2-0 Europa League first leg play-off victory over AZ Alkmaar at Parkhead last night.
Croatia international right-back Josip Juranovic should complete the formalities of joining from Legia Warsaw in a £2.5million switch tomorrow, but he is unlikely to be thrown in for his debut in the Premiership meeting with St Mirren on Saturday afternoon.
Greek striker Georgios Giakoumakis, also rated in the £2.5million region, has been mentioned as a possibility after completing last term as the top league scorer in the Netherlands with 26 goals although his penalty-box heroics couldn’t save VVV-Venlo from relegation from the Eredivisie.
UP IN THE AIR…Luka Modric celebrates scoring against Scotland at Hampden in June with Josip Juranovic about to join in.
With 12 days to go until the transfer deadline, there may be other areas the Hoops boss may consider require cover with central defence still looking vulnerable with Carl Starfelt unconvincing against the Dutch and Greg Taylor losing possession too often to be comfortable at left-back while his final cross into the box leaves a lot to be desired.
Postecoglou only has Boli Bolingoli as a replacement in the No.3 position, but the blundering Belgian could still be heading for the Parkhead exit after last August’s inexplicable secret break in high-risk Spain.
Asked if potential new arrivals would be in place for the visit of the Paisley side, the Greek-Australian gaffer, speaking on BBC Scotland, answered: “Who knows? I hope so.
“Like I said a couple of days ago, we’re getting to the end of the window so what I do know is we’ll have players in before the end of the window.”
The manager made it clear any finalised deal for Juranovic does not automatically mean he will be a replacement for Anthony Ralston who was impressive against AZ Alkmaar.
BHOY DONE GOOD…Anthony Ralston has earned praise with early-season form.
Postecoglou explained: “Anthony was outstanding, he was enormous both defensively and with the ball and he has been all along.
“But we can’t keep going to the well too often, like I keep saying we need to support him and support this group of players because we can’t expect them to play with that intensity every game and maintain a performance and not have them break down.
“It’s not about bringing in people to replace others, it’s about bringing in players who will complement what we’ve got here and create a strong squad because if we want to be successful we’ll need a strong squad.”
Postecoglou also took time out to salute the Hoops support after another memorable European evening under the lights in the east end of Glasgow in front of a rousing sell-out crowd.
He added: “I’m loving it. I feel pretty blessed that I’ve come in when we can get full houses back in here and we’ve already had some special nights and, hopefully, there are more to come.”