Josip Juranovic revisits Celtic Glasgow derby debut with Croatian media

By David Walton

March 23, 2022

Celtic defender Josip Juranovic has revisited his Glasgow derby debut against Rangers as he told the Croatian media all about what Ange Postecoglou asked of him.

Juranovic was quickly thrown into the side days after his move from Legia Warsaw. Despite being signed as a right-back however, Ange immediately put him in on the other flank in a surprising move.

Celtic were without Greg Taylor through injury at the time, but still had options available such as Boli Bolingoli or Adam Montgomery. However, Juranovic came through it with flying colours despite the 1-0 defeat.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

And he’s been boasting about Celtic’s squad options as he said the following via

“My first game for Celtic was against Rangers, we played on Saturday, and the coach approached me on Friday and asked me if I could play left-back because the player whose natural position was injured. I agreed, of course, I wanted to play right away in the top eleven, it’s one of the biggest football derbies in the world.

“I played well and continued to play in that position until the player who is our first option recovered, only then did I switch to the right side. 

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“In any case, we have strong competition on both sides, but also in general, in the whole team. I have a lot of contact with the ball, defenders often get in the middle, we are not so much in outside positions. However, it is not strange, many teams play that way.”

Josip Juranovic – a reliable operator on either flank

Juranovic was more than capable during his time on the left flank. In fairness, he’s operated there on several occasions for Celtic this season alone. Of his 32 Celtic outings, as many as 13 have come in the left-back position [Transfermarkt].

It was difficult for Ange to drop Anthony Ralston at the time too. Ralston was going through a career renaissance and was producing the goods in the early stages of the season. Dropping him to the bench made it feel as though we would’ve been setting him back once again.

But unfortunately for Tony, the evolution of the team couldn’t be halted. Juranovic is the club’s number one right-back and that won’t change. We have an added layer of quality when Juranovic starts down the right side. It can’t just be ignored.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It’s great for Ange to have the option of moving Josip over to the left side. But it’s difficult to turn around and drop Greg Taylor anytime soon either. We need to have natural left-footers on the left flank and vice-versa on the right. It helps the balance of the team, particularly when it comes to our offensive play.

Juranovic, meanwhile, will need to be utilised on the left in the future of course. But only really as a last resort. As much as he can be effective on the opposite flank, we still lose far too much when he isn’t playing in his natural position.

Granted, it must be wholly satisfying for Ange Postecoglou knowing that wherever he plays Josip, he’ll always impress.

In other news, Shunsuke Nakamura wants more Japanese players to join Celtic in the long-term