Kyogo Furuhashi: Celtic talisman plea from Ange Postecoglou as he calls for fair protection

Ange Postecoglou has called on officials to ensure Kyogo Furuhashi isn’t kicked out of games ahead of Celtic going toe-to-toe with Rangers at Ibrox in the first cinch Premiership confrontation of the season between the title rivals.

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi is left in agony after another robust challenge in the Alkmaar encounter. His manager says referees must deal with the "treatment" being meted out to him "on face value" to ensure the in-form Japanese striker is allowed to deliver on his talents.  (Photo by Rico Brouwer / SNS Group)
Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi is left in agony after another robust challenge in the Alkmaar encounter. His manager says referees must deal with the "treatment" being meted out to him "on face value" to ensure the in-form Japanese striker is allowed to deliver on his talents. (Photo by Rico Brouwer / SNS Group)

The Japanese striker has ignited Celtic since his £4.6m move from Vissel Kobe in July, and boasts seven goals in eight appearances. However, as well as a crucial strike that allowed the club to progress to the Europa League group stages with a 2-1 defeat in Alkmaar on Thursday, the 26-year-old also left Holland with a number of bruises after attempts to duff him up to nullify him. Furuhashi subsequently has required treatment prior to the derby and Postecoglou maintains this tactic must not be allowed to become the norm.

“Opposition are being fairly creative in how they want to stop him,” the Celtic manager said. “He’s getting some physical attention, but he’s a resilient guy. Speaking to him after the game, he said he’d be fine, so we’ll see. It’s not about special treatment. When a player comes through in football the opposition see as a threat, they will try various ways to stop him. It may not cut straight to the physical, but then it becomes part of it and you kind of hope the officials are aware of that.

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“You don’t want to deny anyone, supporters or football lovers, the talents of his game and you see what Kyogo can deliver. If the game is played on an even term, he can excite people. But he’s handled it well and, without any special treatment, I hope the officials will deal with things on face value.”

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