Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis prove Ange Postecoglou's point in Celtic semi-final win

By John McGinley

January 14, 2023

Josip Juranovic’s and Giorgos Giakoumakis’ Celtic futures may not be set in stone, but they proved in today’s semi-final that as long as they are at the Bhoys they can be effective performers.

The amount of transfer noise around the duo in recent months has been deafening, with teams from around the world linked with their services.

It has led to some questioning whether they can play a part at the Bhoys while all of that rumbles on.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In that context, it was a big call from manager Ange Postecoglou to start Juranovic at Hampden, especially after a below-par showing at Ibrox at the start of the month and a bright start for Alistair Johnston.

But the Celtic manager’s point all along has been that he’s not seen anything from either player to suggest they are any less focused on the task at hand right now with the Bhoys.

He reiterated that in his pre-match media duties, likely knowing he would be giving the Croatian the chance to impress at the national stadium.

He was one of our better performers at right-back, especially in the first half when his interplay with Jota and Aaron Mooy helped the Bhoys take control of the match in the Kilmarnock half.

Giakoumakis, meanwhile, again showed his lethal touch in goal to make the game safe at 2-0 in injury time, having come on as a second-half substitute for Kyogo Furuhashi.

The smart money is still on Celtic receiving firm bids for the players before the end of January and both of them leaving for pastures new, but in the meantime, we can be relaxed about their situation.

As supporters, it’s easy to project thoughts or assumptions onto Celtic stars. I have to admit after watching Juranovic at Ibrox I was a bit guilty of that myself. Football is an emotional game – what can I say? But Postecoglou has been level-headed and consistent with his messaging throughout.

If he sees an issue with any player in training or matches to the point of distraction, he’s said he’ll step in. Clearly, he is happy with his squad right now, whether they are linked with a move or not.

In other news, Video: Ange Postecoglou gives match verdict to John Hartson & Ally McCoist after Celtic win.