'If I’m fit and healthy I will be the one' - returning Celtic ace says he can help take down Hearts and Rangers

Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has backed himself to be “the one” for his side in the central striking berth as he is left the only one for that role across a crucial three-game run of cinch Premiership games.

Celtic's Giorgous Giakoumakis celebrates scoring against Alloa.
Celtic's Giorgous Giakoumakis celebrates scoring against Alloa.

Yet the Greek forward confesses he is still troubled by his penalty miss in added time of the costly scoreless draw with Livingston in October, though upbeat at now having shaken off fitness issues that beset him across his opening four months in Scotland – subsequent his £2.5million move from Dutch club VVV-Venlo on transfer window deadline day.

With Kyogo Furuhashi sidelined by hamstring problems and Daizen Maeda on international duty with Japan as Ange Postecoglou’s men are away to Hearts on Wednesday, entertain Dundee United on Saturday and host Rangers in a crucial title-shaping derby on February 2, it was put to the 27-year-old the Celtic support had still to see the best of him. However, following his smart finish in the 2-1 Scottish Cup victory at Alloa that earned him a second goal in only three starts with the club, the player presented other considerations.

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“I’m not worrying about that,” he said of essentially winning over the fanbase after bagging 29 goals in the Netherlands last season. “If I’m fit and healthy I will be the one. I’m very happy I got the goal. I’m back after a long time and from now on I start my season. I hope I can be healthy until the end. I try to push a lot. I missed pre-season, I didn’t have a pre-season. After that I had surgery on my injured knee but now I’m back and I’m really happy for that. [But] I’m not happy about [the record of two goals from three starts]. It could have been three starts, three goals but I missed the penalty. It’s something that’s really in my mind. I try to move on and I hope from now on I will score in every single game and help my team.

Celtic's Giorgous Giakoumakis celebrates with Carl Starfelt and Callum McGregor.

[The Tynecastle fixture] is going to be a tough game against a strong squad. We will face them like any other team before. We will play our game and stick with our plan. If we are as we have to be, then we won’t be afraid of anything. This type of game is a big chance for us to show that we are a strong squad and we can beat anyone in this league.”

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Giakoumakis missed a penalty against Livingston back in October.