What Celtic manager had to say about Giorgios Giakoumakis, Carl Starfelt, Tom Rogic and playing Ferencvaros

Ange Postecoglou believes Celtic need a repeat performance against Ferencvaros if they are to complete the Europa League double over the Hungarian outfit on Thursday night
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

After losing their first two Group G games to Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen, the Hoops bounced back with a convincing 2-0 win over Ferencvaros at Parkhead last month, leaving the visitors with no points from three games.

Postecoglou believes his side will have to reach those Celtic Park heights again in Hungary.

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"It is going to be another good challenge for us," said the former Australia boss, who confirmed defender Carl Starfelt is out until after the international break with a hamstring injury,

"They are a very good team and we knew that before we played them. We had to play really well that night to get on top of them.

"We watched them against Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis, and they are a fantastic team with some really good players.

"From our perspective it is about trying to repeat the levels we showed the last time against them, knowing that they are a good team with their crowd behind them.

"They have to try to win, so we expect they will put us under pressure and we have to cope with it, but it is a fantastic challenge for us as a team."

Postecoglou backed Giorgos Giakoumakis to respond as any Celtic striker should after a weak stoppage-time penalty in Saturday's goalless draw with Livingston was saved by Max Stryjek.

Full-back Josip Juranovic had scored from the spot in Celtic's win over St Johnstone the previous weekend but it was always the plan for Giakoumakis to take the next penalty.

Postecoglou said: "I haven't been paying too close attention (to him) to be fair but he is a striker, he is a number nine.

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"You don't be number nine for Celtic and hide somewhere when a penalty is up for grabs in the last minute of the game.

"I reckon he would be disappointed if he didn't take it, I'd like to think he would be.

"That is his challenge but you come to a big club, you are the striker, you are expected to score goals, you are not expected to be protected from that.

"It was disappointing for him I guess personally but from a team perspective we are not going to hang it on him that he missed a penalty.

"It was my decision to put him up there and that's the way it is and I expect him to bounce back as he should because he is going to get more opportunities to win games for us and I assume he will want to be front and centre for that."

Starfelt pulled up during the goalless cinch Premiership game against Livingston at the weekend and will miss the game against Ferencvaros and the trip to Dundee on Sunday.

Postecoglou said: "We lost Carl Starfelt in the last game and similar sort of timelines to Tommy (Rogic) I suppose, we are hoping he will be back after the international break but he will definitely miss these two games.

"It is always a blow when you lose players to injury. To be fair to Carl, he has played every game since he got here and it's not surprising that he has something like this happen.

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"We would have loved to have rotated him earlier but we tried to build some cohesion, consistency in the back four and we didn't want to chop and change too much because we had to at the start of the season.

"We have options, Welshy (Stephen Welsh) has been raring to go and has been unfortunate not to get an opportunity to play because whenever he has played he has been very good for us and Nir (Bitton) can slip back there as well, so there are options."

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