SEAD HAKSABANOVIC convinced Ange Postecoglou he was fit to play against Ross County at the weekend.
The Montenegro international winger typified the spirit of the champions when he insisted he wanted to be involved in Dingwall.
Haksabanovic was under the weather on the morning of the game and could have pulled out.
However, the Sweden-born forward, signed for a bargain £1.7million from Rubin Kazan in the summer, took his place among the substitutes and made an appearance in the 75th minute for Daizen Maeda.
RARING TO GO…Sead Haksabanovic warms up before kick-off in Dingwall.
The Hoops were leading 1-0 through Filipe Jota’s first-half stoppage-time penalty-kick and looking for the second goal to give themselves some breathing space.
Deep in added-on minutes, Haksabanovic cleverly dummied a low cross from Jota and fellow-sub Alexandro Bernabei, on for the injured Greg Taylor, followed up to take a touch and then thrash the killer strike behind the helpless Ross Laidlaw.
The role of the 23-year-raider, who had returned from his adopted country’s double-header to play his part in the Highlands, was largely overlooked, but it wasn’t lost on his manager.
Reflecting on the win over Malky Mackay’s battlers, Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It’s not great coming out of the international break. I don’t like it because we have guys coming in at different times.
THREE CHEERS…Alexandro Bernabei salutes the fans after rifling in Celtic’s second goal against Ross County with Sead Haksabanovic and Callum McGregor looking relieved.
“We only had two days going into it. We weren’t sure if some would make it.”
The Hoops gaffer admitted: “Sead Haksabanovic wasn’t feeling well in the morning. It’s fairly disruptive, but this group doesn’t want to yield to excuses or challenges put forward to them.”
The talented flanker will almost certainly play a role at Parkhead on Saturday against Michael Beale’s Ibrox side where a win would push the champions 12 points clear at the top of the table.