Ange Postecoglou has tipped 14-goal sensation Kyogo Furuhashi to become even more deadly when his Celtic team-mates get on the same wavelength as the Japanese striker.
He hit the controversial winner against Hearts from what looked like an offside position on Thursday night and is set to lead the line at Tannadice tomorrow with praise from his manager ringing his ears.
And while Postecoglou admits that injury concerns, primarily to Portuguese winger Jota, are a worry with games coming thick and fast, the form of Kyogo is making him more relaxed as Celtic hang onto Rangers coat tails at the top of the table.
The Celtic boss 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.
“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 workrate and effort has been outstanding.”
Postecoglou is hoping to recruit quality in January in order to give some of his players a rest but with injuries piling up he’ll keep asking them to produce the goods until then.
He added: “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.
“It’s always a concern when a player comes off injured.
“ Jota ’s one who has played every game and again he’s one we’d love to give a break to at some point. But it’s the kind of stage as a squad we’re at this moment.
“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.”
The Aussie cut a frustrated figure on the touchline at times on Thursday and admitted that his side’s failure to kill off Hearts was the source.
“I felt we played some fantastic football and that final bit, where you want to get the reward, I just felt we could have been more decisive,” he said.
“You know what football’s like, there’s always an opportunity for the opposition to get back in
“I was sort of frustrated we weren’t as clinical in that front third as I know we can be and we have been in the past.
“So, again, every game’s an opportunity to develop and learn and we’ll give feedback to the players on that.
“For us to be a better team we need to take those opportunities and kill games off. At 1-0 the opposition are still in the game.”
Celtic will go to Tannadice with Cameron Carter-Vickers back in the squad.
However, Stephen Welsh and Anthony Ralston are not as badly hurt as first feared and have a chance of making the match, which has come too soon for defender Greg Taylor and frontman Giorgos Giakoumakis, who is still a fortnight away having undergone
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