Josip Juranovic explains how he managed to take over Celtic penalty-kick duties

By David Walton

October 26, 2021

Josip Juranovic has today explained just how he managed to win the role of first-choice penalty-kick taker at Celtic Park.

Juranovic is a new arrival at the club under Ange Postecoglou after signing in a £2.5m deal from Legia Warsaw [Scottish Sun]. Despite a stop-start beginning to his Parkhead career due to injury, the Croatian international has noticeably become our main spot-kick taker.

Indeed, it’s 2 out of 2 for Josip after netting against Real Betis and St Johnstone respectively. A fine start to his penalty-taking duties after the departure of previous taker Odsonne Edouard on deadline-day.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

And today, the right-back has finally explained how he won those duties as he took to a pre-Hibernian press conference. Speaking via Celtic TV, Juranovic said: “I’ve shot 2 penalty kicks and I’ve scored. Before the match against Betis, the coach said to me ‘will you shoot some penalties?’ to 4 players. I scored 3 goals and they missed 1, and because of that I’m on the penalties.

“I’m calm on the ball and my head doesn’t go crazy when it’s such a big moment. I want to be relaxed when I take the ball. I just think about the sides and I pick one. That’s it.”

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Anton McElhone’s influence at Celtic is already being felt
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Josip Juranovic isn’t missing a beat with Celtic penalty kicks

And credit to him. He’s certainly thrived after being given such a big responsibility. So far he’s shown ice-cool nerves to slam home against Betis and St Johnstone respectively. The convincing nature of the penalties will also undoubtedly have pleased the Celtic supporters.

It’s not something Juranovic has historically shone with throughout his playing career. Indeed, the 2 he scored in the early stages of his Celtic career are the only 2 penalties he’s ever taken in a 90-minute game [Transfermarkt].

It may go under the radar, but Josip is showing real leadership qualities here. By stepping up and playing such a key role, he’s openly acknowledging and accepting huge pressure being placed on his shoulders regularly.

Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

It’s promising that he’s willing to take such a big responsibility on. And with a bit of luck, we now have several top penalty kick takers in our squad.

We know what Callum McGregor can do on spot-kicks as he’s proven to be a reliable option over the years. We also have figures such as David Turnbull who’s also shown to be a decent taker. You would hope the likes of Kyogo and Jota can show some mettle from the spot too.

For now, however, it’s Josip who’s the main man.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou brilliantly defends Celtic backline from out-of-date narrative