Ange Postecoglou explains why Celtic fan-favourite could soon face more bench time

By David Walton

November 4, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has explained why Kyogo Furuhashi could soon be facing some time out of the team.

Furuhashi joined Celtic having played the vast majority of the J-League season in Japan. Since his arrival, he’s been a constant in Ange Postecoglou’s starting XI, as either a striker or a right-winger.

However, the former Vissel Kobe man has barely been given a rest since his arrival. During the international breaks, he’s been away with the Japan national team, meaning he’s been playing a key role for club and country over the last 9 months.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

And Postecoglou has warned that Celtic will need to be careful with the player’s fatigue levels as he confirmed he’ll need to rotate him more in the coming weeks.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Postecoglou said: “We have to be really careful with Kyogo because he left Japan three quarters of the way through a season. He’s come back, he’s had international football, he’s already had an injury.

“I know people want him out there all the time and he’s done fantastically well every time he’s played, but we have to be careful as it’s just starting November and we can’t be just playing every game right through to April and May and expecting him to perform at the top level.”

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Kyogo Furuhashi needs to be managed as he clocks up Celtic minutes

Incredibly, Kyogo has already played over 1,000 minutes of action for Celtic this season. Considering he was already winding down on a long J-League campaign, it’s imperative that Celtic take care of him.

He clearly wasn’t dropped against Livingston because he wasn’t trusted to make an impact. It was viewed as an opportunity to give him a break. Especially with tonight’s trip to Hungary on the agenda.

Of course, how Postecoglou prioritises different competitions will be telling here. The Greek-Australian tactician won’t get away with it if we’re dropping him for domestic matches and seeing us lose points because of it.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

We know the kind of impact Kyogo can make. He’s an absolute game-changer for Celtic. And it’ll be down to the manager to rightly judge what games he should be sitting out of.

His life will certainly be made a lot easier when Giorgos Giakoumakis returns to form. The Greek striker is suffering a confidence and reputation crisis after his penalty miss against Livi. His response to that in the coming weeks will hopefully make it easier to give the Japanese forward a rest.

But as for tonight, expect Kyogo front and centre. Celtic have a big job to do in Hungary and it needs to be seen through.

In other news, Ferencvaros manager explains exactly how he’ll set up against Celtic