ANGE POSTECOGLOU was hoping to give Giorgos Giakoumakis a boost by allowing him to take the penalty-kick against Livingston at Parkhead on Saturday.

The Premiership tussle was locked at 0-0 in stoppage time when Ayo Obileye inexplicably whacked Kyogo Furuhashi across the back of the head.

Referee Bobby Madden had no option but to issue a red card for the erring defender and give the Hoops a stick-on spot-kick.

The home fans expected Josip Juranovic, with a 100 per cent record after strikes against Real Betis and St Johnstone, to take the award, but the Greek striker, whose contribution up to that point had been minimal, accepted the responsibility and then squandered the opportunity of putting the team top of the Premiership for 24 hours at least.

DOWN AND OUT…Giorgos Giakoumakis is crestfallen after missing the target in the fading moments against Livingston.

The timid attempt from 12 yards was easily saved by Max Stryjek and Giakoumakis compounded a dreadful performance by missing the target from six yards only moments later when he screwed a mishit from James Forrest wide of the post.

However, Mark McGhee, now 64, reckons boss Postecoglou was putting the £2.5million attack-leader on the spot to give him “a leg up”.

The former Hoops forward, who was signed by Davie Hay from SV Hamburg for £150,000 in 1985 and went on to score 27 goals in 87 league appearances, said: “I’m aware that there was surprise Giakoumakis took the penalty in the first place.

“But my hunch on that would be his manager would be trying to help him increase his goal tally and boost his confidence. You want to help the boy build his reputation here. Giakoumakis had scored the week before and when you’re signed by Celtic as a striker, then you are judged by goals.

CAN’T BEAR TO LOOK…Giakoumakis’ despair after fluffing penalty-kick against Livi.

“Ange Postecoglou will want him quickly building up his tally. So, I can totally understand if that was his thinking by making Giakoumakis the designated penalty-taker.

“It would be my thoughts, too, as a manager. And let’s face it, a striker of all players should be able to take a penalty.

“If a striker’s got seven or eight goals and three of them are penalties, nobody notices that. They just see the bottom line.

“Scoring regularly is, of course, tremendous for a striker’s belief — but also for other people’s belief in him.”

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Giakoumakis opened his Celtic scoring account with the opener in the 2-0 success over St Johnstone.

McGhee, who bossed Motherwell and Aberdeen among nine teams in his dug-out career, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “Sometimes managers will put strikers on penalties to give them a leg up, so to speak.

“Giakoumakis didn’t take the opportunity against Livingston. But it’s about how he now reacts to that disappointment that counts.

“Even the greatest players have missed penalties — no one has a 100 per cent record.

“But quickly they got it out of their system and proceed to score plenty of goals.

“I’m sure Giakoumakis will want to take the next one to put things right.”

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