Celtic boss delivers Kyogo one-liner after fans spotted him training

By Euan Davidson

March 19, 2022

We all become amateur Celtic detectives when Hoops training videos and pictures are released by the club, and the case of Kyogo is maybe the best example.

Hidden away in the background of footage from Lennoxtown, Kyogo could be seen training by himself. The Japanese striker has been out since December with a hamstring issue, but is still the Bhoys’ top scorer this season.

The sighting of Kyogo has caused obvious excitement. Ditto Ange’s own comments on Kyogo yesterday, when he said Celtic fans can draw their own conclusions on when the striker will be back.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Having also spotted David Turnbull in training, with Ange saying the midfielder is in contention for today’s game against Ross County, the fans have been eagerly awaiting key players coming back into the fold. However, despite all the injury woes, Celtic could go 31 domestic games unbeaten with victory over the Staggies later today.

Reacting to the investigative work of the Celtic support, Ange Postecoglou – as ever – had a one-liner prepared. He said [Herald]: “He’s been injured mate, he wasn’t kidnapped!

“He’s been here every day, he’s fine, he’s working towards [coming back]. I don’t want to put timelines on it but you look at Davie Turnbull, he was injured three or four weeks before and they are running similar sort of rehabs.

“[Kyogo is] working hard and doing well. Hopefully he’ll be back soon.

“The international break gives him a chance to do some more work as well.”

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Ange Postecoglou being so relaxed about Celtic star Kyogo is a wonderful thing

Given how often Ange Postecoglou has had to throw Celtic players back into the mix for crucial games, his laid-back demeanour here is really encouraging.

Nobody is doubting the quality of Kyogo, of course. He’s been one of the main stories of this Scottish Premiership season. Supporters adore him. Quite right, too, he’s been magnificent since signing for Celtic from Vissel Kobe. 100%, you’d want him in your starting line-up every week.

However, the manager’s jovial approach to Kyogo returning shows how times have changed. Before, the Celtic boss was a more tense figure discussing when players would be back. Specifically Kyogo, who’s had injury issues for a lot of this season.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier in the campaign, the narrative was that Celtic were entirely reliant on Kyogo to get through games. No question the ex-Vissel Kobe man was crucial. However, that opinion seemed to ignore how many goals were coming from different Celtic players.

That’s remained the case, with guys like Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda stepping up in the absence of Kyogo.

Having him back in the team will be a huge boost, and no doubt about it. Ange Postecoglou never wanted this Celtic team to rely on individual performances, though.

So his cool approach to training ground sightings and the timescale for Kyogo? That says a great deal, beyond his customary quip.

Read more: ‘Usually run a mile’; Chris Sutton on why Ange is a different kind of Celtic manager