Josip Juranovic addresses unusual task from Celtic boss that has had supporters talking
We know that on the field, Celtic defender Josip Juranovic is plenty confident. A cooly taken Panenka against Bayer Leverkusen proved that without doubt.
Turns out he’s also a total blast in press conferences. Sounding assured of himself speaking English, the full-back was in great form as he answered questions from the media.
Chief amongst those was how Juranovic, a natural right-back, was finding life on the left for Celtic.
A totally understandable question. An anxiety, even, for some supporters who worry about the full-back positions, and Juranovic playing on his weaker side.
However, the Croatia international made it sound simple. With a grin, he told assorted media at Celtic Park [Celtic FC]:
“For now it’s going well. I don’t know… we’ve played so many games that in my head I’m now a left-back. But just for now.
“It’s a little different because [at left back] I’m looking over my right shoulder. When I’m right back I’m looking always [over] my left shoulder.
“But it’s most important that we’re playing well. We have good players, really good staff also. If we continue like that we can achieve our goals.”
Asked whether he saw his long-term Celtic future as a right back, Juranovic simply said:
Josip Juranovic is excelling for Celtic, could be even better in the right position
There you have it, troops. The secret to being an adaptable full-back on either flank for Celtic? Remember to look over the opposite shoulder to the side of the pitch you’re on.
In fairness, it’s absolutely working. A carousel of left-back options awaited Postecoglou in the wake of Greg Taylor’s injury. Instead, he’s opted to put an internationally renowned right-back on the left, and he’s been one of the league’s best players.
In the Premiership, his tackling has been crisp and accurate. He makes 1.7 tackles a game, but only concedes 0.1 fouls per 90 [WhoScored?]. You’d expect that to be much higher given he’s not in his natural position. It’s remarkable, really.
His distribution, which was well known before he came to Celtic, has been very decent, too. On around 71 passes a game, he’s hitting the mark 90% of the time. Again, on his weaker side.
Alongside the likes of Joe Hart, Jota and Kyogo, there are some excellent characters that have been brought into this Celtic side. Juranovic is one the best in this regard; he has a real attitude and cheekiness that fans can absolutely relate to.
Perhaps because, by the sounds of it, he’s the perfect teammate. Just stick him anywhere on the pitch, and he’ll figure it out.
What’s more, he’ll make it sound like no problem at all.