Sead Haksabanovic could be Celtic's secret weapon at Hampden; January comments from Ange

By Hamish Carton

February 22, 2023

Sead Haksabanovic could be Celtic’s secret weapon this weekend against Rangers.

The Montenegrin winger was one of our most impressive players prior to the World Cup break, but hasn’t quite kicked on under Ange Postecoglou since then.

Injuries have played a huge part in that, as has the impressive form of the likes of Daizen Maeda, Jota and Liel Abada.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But Haksabanovic has been gradually building himself up in recent weeks.

He looked full of life when brought on for the final half an hour against Aberdeen on Sunday, even setting up a goal for Abada with some tenacious play.

He is unlikely to start in Sunday’s League Cup final, but may well play a pivotal role off the bench in a match that could go 120 minutes.

Haksabanovic may also feel like he has something to prove against Rangers. Despite signing in the summer, he is yet to feature against the Ibrox side.

He was an unused sub in our 4-0 derby win in September, while injury prevented him from featuring at Ibrox last month.

At the time, Postecoglou described Haksa as being “frustrated” to miss the match. (Football Scotland)

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“He’s a bit frustrated because he’s been training, but not at 100 percent, so we’ll give him a chance to get back to full fitness.”

While that’s a pretty normal emotion to have, the winger may well be one to keep an eye on for Sunday.

Often in these derby games it’s the ones you least expect who can have a big impact.

With legs tiring as the match goes on, Haksabanovic’s trickery and invention off the bench could be exactly what’s required.

In other news, the atmosphere on Sunday is set to be a bit of a throwback